Communicating with your Tenants

When implementing a smokefree policy, the best way to assure compliance with your new policy is to thoroughly communicate the change with your tenants. Below are a few helpful tips on ways to be sure everyone in your building is fully aware of your policy:

  • Hold a meeting for tenants and staff to discuss the upcoming changes. Give residents a chance to ask questions.
  • Provide tenants with smoking cessation resources (i.e. information regarding the free Vermont Quit Network).
  • Make it clear, for those who continue to smoke, where they are allowed to smoke (i.e. 25 feet from any entryway or window), whether there are designated smoking areas on the property, or whether or not smoking will be allowed on the property at all.
  • Tell your tenants when the policy will go into effect. Remind them that the most important reason for the policy is to protect everyone in the building from harmful exposure to secondhand smoke. Use our template letter A / template letter B to send to each of your tenants alerting them to the change.
  • Be sure to explain to your tenants what the result of violating the policy will be, and be clear that the smokefree policy is to be followed with the same attention as other lease policies, including paying rent on time or prohibiting pets from the building.
  • If you have waiting lists, be sure to notify those on your list of the changes to the policy, and include information regarding the smokefree provision on all applications and in-take forms.
  • Check in with your tenants immediately before the policy goes into effect to remind them of the implementation date, and right afterwards to assure people are clear on the conditions of your policy. Landlords who address violations and conflicts early have more success with overall, long-term compliance.