A letter to the Editor
A Property Manager’s Perspective: Smoke-Free Housing Protects Your Investment and Your Residents
The safety of our residents at Oak Park Apartments is among our top priorities. We also value using cost-effective strategies to maintain clean, comfortable, healthy living environments, so we decided to make all of our 48 properties and 1,300 units 100% smoke-free in 2014. Going smoke-free was one of the best decisions we made for our properties and we are confident that other property owners/managers would experience equal success.
During our transition, we made it clear to our residents that we were not telling them they could not smoke, just that they could not smoke on the premises. We issued a smoke-free lease addendum for all residents to sign and treat being smoke-free as any other policy for our apartments, such as restrictions on pets in units.
Our company and our residents have experienced tremendous benefits from going smoke-free. Our no-smoking rule has saved us thousands of dollars when it comes to property damage from smoking, like fires, residue and smells. Our no-smoking rule also supports the many people who smoke and are trying to quit, encouraging them to connect with free quit services, like the Illinois Tobacco Quitline. Finally, our no-smoking rule protects the health of ALL our residents from the known cancer-causing chemicals in secondhand smoke.
To learn more about the legality, benefits, and process of transitioning to a smoke-free property, REGISTER NOW to attend a FREE workshop for property owners/managers that provides tips from property owners, lease language, and technical assistance. The workshop is on Wednesday, June 22 from 8:00-9:30 am at the North Berwyn Park District, 1619 Wesley Ave, Berwyn, IL 60402. Space is limited so RSVP now at www.cookcountypublichealth.org/event-registration or call (708) 633-8342.
Vice President of Operations
Oak Park Apartments
*Note: (A racial breakdown of Oak Park residents is 67.77% white, 21% Black, 7.2 % Hispanic , 5.31% Asian and the rest other)