Condominiums / HOAs

The OverlookWe are proud to offer a smoke-free living environment for residents.†Itís good for business and good for health.

- Mark Kirchmeier, co-developer of The Overlook smoke-free condos, Portland, OR

Now that you are protected from secondhand smoke at work and in most public places, how can you ensure you aren't exposed in your own home?

Smokefree housing is
the trend in real estate

No-smoking policies for condos are a good idea:

  • Secondhand smoke, a deadly toxin, drifts throughout a building, entering units through crawl spaces, light fixtures and walls.
  • According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers, secondhand smoke cannot be controlled by ventilation, air cleaning or the separation of smokers from non-smokers. ASHRAE encourages smoke-free policies as "the only complete solution to the problem of secondhand smoke." " (ASHRAE Report).

  • Secondhand smoke can cause tensions between neighbors.
  • Market demand for smokefree homes is high: 91% of Oregonians and 88% of Washingtonians do not allow smoking inside their homes.

Adopting no-smoking policies for condos is legal:

    • Similar to other multi-unit housing, adopting a no-smoking policy at the time the condominium is created is the simplest.
    • If secondhand smoke infiltration violates the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R’s) nuisance clause, condo associations may prohibit smoking to the extent needed to abate the nuisance fully, up to and including prohibiting smoking in individual units.
    •  If smokers sue, saying that the rule was not in place when they bought their unit, courts will probably continue to agree with condominiums that go smokefree.  The majority of the courts apply the standard of “reasonableness”.
    • Download Legal Options for Condo Owners a Law Synopsis published in December 2006 by the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium.

Adopting no-smoking policies for condos is doable:

Condo Owners:

Condo Association Boards:

Resources

How to Make a Condo Complex Smokefree, published by the Technical Assistance Legal Center, a project of Public Health Law & Policy and the Public Health Institute.

Options for Condo Owners Suffering From Drifting Secondhand Smoke, published by the Technical Assistance Legal Center, a project of Public Health Law & Policy and the Public Health Institute.

The Growing Trend of Non-smoking Policies in Condo Associations, Community Associations Institute, Oregon Chapter Newsletter, October 2009