Several years after the smoking ban came into force anti-smoking has become second nature to many people. Smokers are feeling more and more under threat nowadays.
The news is even worse for smokers who are seeking to rent.
With demand higher than ever for rental accommodation, 60% of landlords said they would not consider letting out a property to tenants that smoke highlighting the growing anti-smoking culture.
A landlord was even quoted as saying “We’d rather not have them. Smokers ruin paint, stink up the halls and the odd time cause fires. It we have a choice between a smoker and a non smoker we’ll go with the non-smoker”
Half even went as far as saying they would increase the rent for smoking tenants.
A third of landlords admitted they had held back deposit money to cover the cost of cleaning, repainting or repairing homes that had been damaged by cigarettes and cigarette smoke.
Of those tenants who do smoke, 22% admitted to having smoked inside homes that they knew were non-smoking and 39% of smokers said they would not tell a potential landlord or flatmates if they were a smoker. In fact research shows that 67% of tenants who are smokers are living in non-smoking accommodation.
Many landlords do not allow smoking as they also fear that the smoker can fall asleep with a cigarette in bed. However, this is more the exception than the rule. If you smoke anyway, in breach of a prohibition in your tenancy agreement, this is potentially a ground for possession. If the tenant lives in a shared house and all have their own individual tenancy agreements for their own room, then the shared parts of the house will fall within the regulations and smoking is not allowed.
So far as the tenants individual rooms are concerned (if they have their own tenancy agreement for this) or houses and flats rented under the one tenancy agreement are concerned, if the landlord permits smoking this is not illegal.
Only 7% of landlords agree to let people smoke in their properties and only 19% of the flatmate population are happy to share with smokers, 37% of flatmates would share accommodation with smoker if they will smoke outdoor only and 44% of flatmates generally would not want to share with a smoker.
Also amazingly, many potential tenants would think twice about renting a property if the previous tenant was a smoker saying often the property has lingering odours of smoke, which can get into the soft furnishings.
By the way, in many European countries smoking is prohibited in rented apartments. One city in Finland are going to build 400 council flats, which will be leased to non-smokers only.
With quality rental properties being in short demand and demand for those available being high, maybe it’s time to seriously consider giving up smoking – if you’re thinking of renting!