COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Two major apartment landlords in central Ohio are implementing smoke-free policies this year as the share of the population that lights up declines.
T&R Properties, which manages more than 20 central Ohio complexes, and Crawford Hoying, with 25 complexes, are banning smoking in certain buildings, including on patios and terraces.
According to The Columbus Dispatch (bit.ly/Y0QTLp), tenants will be required to move to a building where smoking is allowed or agree not to smoke at home.
Violating the agreement would be treated like breaking any tenant rule, such as no pets, and could result in eviction.
Crawford Hoying announced its policy in August and will take effect next August, giving tenants a year to prepare.
The T&R Properties policy took effect Jan. 1 and will be phased in throughout the year as tenant leases come due.
Dave Carline, president of Crawford Hoying's multifamily division, and Sandi Schmitt, operations facilitator for T&R Properties, cited several reasons for the policies, including the risk of fire, the dangers of secondhand smoke, tenant preference for smoke-free buildings and the decline in number of smokers.
Smokers now account for about 19 percent of the U.S. population, down from about 40 percent in the 1970s.
Trade associations do not track smoke-free apartments, but industry officials say such policies have become more common as the number of smokers decline and the fear of secondhand smoke grows.
"The trend toward smoke-free rental housing tracks the trend we see in making other facilities smoke-free," said Laura Swanson, executive director of the Columbus Apartment Association. "The rental-housing market is driven by consumer demand."
A resident of a smoke-free complex, Amira Ellan, found the policy easy to live with even though she is a cigar smoker. Residents can smoke outside.
"It was fine with me," said Ellan, 20. "I didn't want my things to smell like cigars. I would smoke outside. I had a porch with a cover over it."
Ellan and other smokers contacted said the policies didn't bother them, as long as smokers have some apartments they can rent.
Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com