Financial benefits of no-smoking rules for community associations

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F i n a n c i a l b e n e f its
f or C ommunity A ssociations
No Smoking Ru l e s
Increased Demand
As fewer people smoke and as the public becomes more aware of the adverse health effects
of secondhand smoke, demand for smokefree housing increases. 91% of Oregon adults say no
one is allowed to smoke anywhere inside their home (even 69% of smokers say this!) 87% of
Washington adults do not allow smoking anywhere in their home.
Smells Don’t Sell
Odors can offend and turn away ready buyers. Real estate brokers have reported that
properties that smell of smoke take longer to sell and often sell at a lower price.
Save Money
Dealing with damages from cigarettes and picking up butts cost the homeowners
association and ultimately the owners, money. Mitigation strategies such as filler shields,
gaskets under electrical plates, duct audits, etc., can be pricey.
Fire Hazards
Between 2005 and 2009, smoking caused $20 million in property loss in Oregon alone.
Cigarettes are the top cause of residential fire deaths in Oregon and Washington and the
leading cause of outside home fires, many of which become structure fires.
Possible Insurance Discounts
Some insurance companies are offering discounts. Shop around and talk to your broker. An insurance
company may discount general liability insurance premiums if a no-smoking rule is established.
Why? No-smoking rules reduce the risk of fire-related property damage, injury, and death.
Avoid Legal Risk
Nuisance claims and reasonable accommodation requests can be avoided or met by implementing
a no-smoking rule. Two primary legal challenges may arise by continuing to allow smoking: a
resident could sue either the association or the smoking owner claiming a nuisance. If the resident
has a health condition that is affected by exposure to secondhand smoke, he or she could seek relief using one of the disability statutes. If the courts find the condition is a disability, then the resident
is entitled to a reasonable accommodation, which could include imposition of a no-smoking rule.
This information provided by the Oregon Smokefree Housing Project, funded by the Oregon Health Authority, and Clark County Public Health.

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