10/20/11 Webinar Presentation: Maine's Secondhand Smoke Policy Disclosure Law
Maine’s New Secondhand Smoke Disclosure Law October 20, 2011
Webinar Tips: ◦ Participants will be muted throughout ◦ We will answer questions at the end – please enter them into the text box as they come up ◦ Powerpoint slides will be uploaded to www.slideshare.net/breatheeasy by October 25th.
The Smoke-Free Housing Coalition of Maine is a non- profit organization comprised of more than 50 public health advocates, tenants, landlords, property managers, environmental health professionals, legal professionals and many others supporting and advocating for voluntary smoke-free housing policies.The Smoke Free Housing Coalition is a program of the Breathe Easy Coalition of Maine
Disclosure Law Explanation Smoke-Free Housing Policy Overview Support Tools from the Coalition Questions
An Act To Improve Awareness of Smoking Policies in Maine Rental Housing Signed into Law by Gov. LePage on June 2nd Took effect on September 28th 2011 Full law language: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/ bills_125th/chapters/PUBLIC199.asp
“…A landlord who or other person who on behalf of a landlord enters into a lease or tenancy at will agreement for residential premises that are used by a tenant or will be used by a potential tenant as a primary residence shall provide to the tenant or potential tenant a smoking policy disclosure that notifies tenants or potential tenants of the landlords policy regarding smoking on the premises.... The notice must state whether smoking is prohibited on the premises, allowed on the entire premises or allowed in limited areas of the premises. If the landlord allows smoking in limited areas on the premises, the notice must identify the areas on the premises where smoking is allowed. A landlord or other person who acts on behalf of a landlord may notify a tenant or potential tenant of a smoking policy by: (1) Disclosing the smoking policy in a written lease agreement; or (2) Providing a separate written notice to a tenant or potential tenant entering into a tenancy at will agreement….”
Starting September 28, 2011, Maine propertyowners and managers are required to notifytenants, in writing, about where smoking isallowed, if anywhere, on the property.This requirement is similar to other Mainedisclosure laws around bedbugs and energyefficiency.
This law does not require property owners and managers to change their current policies. It does provides an opportune time to adopt a smoke-free policy but you are not required to change any practices, simply to notify tenants of your house rules.
Notify tenants, before they enter into a lease agreement, about where smoking is allowed. ◦ Must identify if: Smoking is prohibited on the entire property Smoking is allowed on the entire property* Smoking is allowed in designated or limited areas of the property**Maine law prohibits smoking in common areas of multi-unit housing buildings, such as hallways, laundry rooms,stairwells and other common use indoor areas.
Disclosure must be in writing – either as a provision in the lease agreement or as a separate written document. Both the landlord and the tenant must sign the document to acknowledge the non- smoking/smoking policy.
A standard disclosure form is not required. If you already have a written 100% smoke-free housing policy in place– simply ensure that the tenant has expressly initialed the non-smoking statement. If you don’t currently have language around smoking in your lease agreement, you will need to add language. ◦ Consider our disclosure form template as a place to start
If you don’t currently have language around smoking in your lease agreement, you will need to add language. ◦ Consider our disclosure form template as a place to start If smoking is allowed in some units of a building and not others, it is not a smoke- free building and must be disclosed as such. ◦ This is a complicated situation regarding this law.
This law doesn’t require you to use a written lease agreement but you still need to notify all tenants in writing of your current smoking policy. If the notification is made and both the landlord and tenant sign off in acknowledgement of the policy – the law requirement has been met.
No, you are not required to post signage. However, posting signs are a beneficial way to improve awareness and compliance with your non-smoking policy.
Ensuring tenants are aware of your property’s smoking policy can help you avoid the tenant complaints related to your chosen policy. Adopting smoke-free housing policies is legal but many landlords don’t know that – this law helps to clarify your options under the law.
Smoke-Free Housing Isn’t• About targeting people who smoke or making people quit • About evicting people who smoke Smoke-Free Housing Is • Saving property owners/managers money • About the smoke, not the smoker• Providing healthy indoor air for all residents of multi-unit housing • Protecting the integrity of multi-unit buildings
Smoke-free housingpolicies save you money! Studies have shown that unit turnover costs are 2-7 times more expensive when smoking was allowed in the unit. Some insurance companies will award discounts on comprehensive fire casualty plans for being 100% smoke-free.
Most tenants want smoke-free housing: 7 out of 10 Maine tenants would prefer to live in a smoke-free unit In fact, 43% said they would be willing to pay MORE to be in a smoke-free building
Smoke-free environments are becoming the norm rather than the exception 48% of all Maine rental housing is smoke-free 100% of Maine’s Public Housing Authorities have a smoke-free housing policy
Smoke-free policies are healthy choices foryour building and tenants:◦ There is no risk free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.◦ Up to 65% of air is exchanged between units – tobacco smoke toxins move with this air and can be harmful to the health of neighbors.◦ Smoking is the leading cause of residential fire death in Maine and the US.
Smoke-free policies are legal, justified and supported by HUD
Smoke-free policies are free way to go green and creating healthy housing
Disclosure Law FAQ Template disclosure form Template smoke-free lease addendums and policy language with disclosure statements Available to answer additional questions about the disclosure law Available at www.smokefreeforme.org or by contacting the Coalition
Free signage, window clingsand other materials Sample smoke-free leaseaddendums and policylanguage Fact sheets Implementation and enforcement tips Free technical assistance for adoption and implementation Available at www.smokefreeforme.org or by contacting the Coalition
Second Webinar Opportunity: ◦ November 16, 2011 ◦ 2-3pm ◦ Register at www1.gotomeeting.com/register/150708312
Smoke-Free Housing Coalition of Maine(207)firstname.lastname@example.org.SmokeFreeforME.orgLike us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/smokefreeformeView Past Presentations: www.slideshare.net/breatheeasyFree Housing Registry: www.MaineHousingSearch.org