Sunday, 05 May 2013 20:48

The real cost of smoking tenants

Written by  CREW online
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Here may be more proof that smoking tenants compromise resale value, with a survey suggesting half of buyers are inclined to give those properties a miss.

The study, sponsored by smoking-cessation drug producer Pfizer Canada, canvassed 401 real estate agents and brokers for their take on selling properties where smoking routinely took place.

Some 56 per cent of those real estate professionals said buyers are less likely to purchase a home where people have smoked.

About 27 per cent said buyers are flat-out unwilling to buy a home where resident’s smoked.

There’s more: The survey concludes that smoking in a house can reduce property value upwards of 29 per cent.

Estimates are that 15 per cent of Canadian homes have one or more regular smokers.

But landlords looking to prevent smokers from doing so in their properties may face a challenge in most provinces.

In Ontario, for example, landlords can include a no-smoking clause in any lease, writes real estate lawyer Mark Weisleder, but the building should have a clear no-smoking policy and tenants living in the building prior to the change, cannot be forced to adhere.

Also, “if (tenants) sign a lease that says no smoking, and later smoke, you cannot evict them just because they broke their promise made in the lease.”

Last modified on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 12:59


  • Raven Sunday, 23 March 2014 05:28 posted by Raven

    It may be a disgusting habit and you may not rent to smokers as is your prerogative. However, that is quite a generalization you've made. I can't speak for all smokers, but as a smoker myself, I have to say that your assumption is incredibly insulting. My habit does NOT take priority over paying my rent, nor am I a drinker. Unfortunately, a few non paying renters seem to bring out the sanctimonious.

  • Christine Rae Sunday, 12 January 2014 12:26 posted by Christine Rae

    For the comments above who "blow" off smoking as a simple fix- you are all way off base! I have just a) lost three months rent as a result of tenant smoking(time to attempt to fix problem) b) used all the above and STILL the smoke smell lingers c) the costs for cleaning carpet, washing/sealing walls/ceilings; washing in out of all wood cupboards, surfaces and lights. Cleaning ducts, air in attic, garage and central vac was upwards of $15,000! NOT a simple fix and a nightmare I would not want to repeat. Smoke is insidious and expensive

  • Anti Pollution Activist Sunday, 19 May 2013 22:30 posted by Anti Pollution Activist

    Thorough cleaning will COVER UP the smell for a while, but like urine soaked wood, you can clean it, seal it in, cover it up, but the smell will return. If you have wood in your space, the smoke is absorbed into the wood and it can take FOREVER for it to release. Smoking is nasty! And to the heavy smoker above who thinks no one can tell - you are fooling no one but yourself. Non-smokers can absolutely smell your stinky habit. I thought I had them fooled too ~ Stink free for 4 years...

  • justsayin Wednesday, 15 May 2013 13:57 posted by justsayin

    there is little or no protection for landlord rights. all rights seem to serve the interests of the tenants... tenancy agreement or not.

  • LanceH Monday, 13 May 2013 13:45 posted by LanceH

    @Em - in the circumstance you describe, the smoker would be interfering with the Owner's "use and enjoyment", which is cause for eviction.

    Anyone knows that painters use TSP cleaning agent prior to painting. Between that and the paint, you won't smell anything. No additional sealer required. I'm a heavy smoker, most ppl walk in and can't even tell. I think our society is so over-the-top brainwashed about this stuff that it's more psychological than anything.

  • Rob Lamontagne Wednesday, 08 May 2013 10:59 posted by Rob Lamontagne

    One note: smoking is legally prohibited in common areas of apartment and condo buildings. There is already legislation in place in Ontario for that. But the legislation does not extend to inside their apartment. A tenant can be evicted for smoking outside of their unit after written notice.

  • P Wednesday, 08 May 2013 03:24 posted by P

    I agree with last statement, a good odor sealing primer and paint should remove any odor but an extra step to mop down the walls/ceilings with cleaner/dissinfectant to remove any of the surface residue goes a long way. Otherwise several coats of paint could be required. This is also a good idea where there is thick grease in kitchens where a fan wasn's used but instead TSP or a grease cleaner can be used before primer.

    A good agent can help buyers see past this minor issue and take note that there are simple remedies for the problem and not to discount a home they may otherwise like.

  • Em Tuesday, 07 May 2013 19:35 posted by Em

    What about if the landlord has mild or severe allergies to smoke , there is a no smoking policy and clause at time of lease signing but the tenants still do not adhere? Can the landlord have grounds for eviction?

  • Rental King Tuesday, 07 May 2013 18:59 posted by Rental King

    Disgusting habit. Remember smokers are addicted to an expensive drug that will always have priority over the rent.Smokers tend to be heavy drinkers too.
    A smoker is a red flag when I am renting to someone.

  • Ron Cameron Tuesday, 07 May 2013 15:37 posted by Ron Cameron

    Since the various Canadian Provincial Governments take a
    considerable amount of tax off a package of smokes, it's a catch 22 situation. Nicotene is a drug with mild mind altering
    characteristics. Anybody who knows anything about home restoration knows that a simple modern seal coat followed by
    a coat of good quality latex paint will seal in the smoke odor.
    A quality carpet cleaning takes care of that. Wash the tar off
    the windows , clean the curtains and you are done. It's a bit
    of work, but well worth it.

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