The NY Times reports this morning that one of the city’s premier landlords, the Related Companies, will prohibit smoking inside apartments of some of its most desirable buildings. The ban will affect only new renters.
Will co-ops and condos be empowered by Related’s bold move?
As we reported last week, a major reason many boards have steered clear of smoking bans is concern over property values: Besides losing buyers who are smokers, bans might be perceived as an indicator of a scarily activist board.
But in light of the publicity and likely copycat effect of Related’s move, smoking bans may no longer seem like such a radical step.
And consider this tidbit mentioned in the Times piece:
“A poll commissioned by the NYC Coalition for a Smoke Free City suggested that a residential smoking ban might not hurt rentals or sales. The survey of 1,000 New Yorkers, which was administered by Zogby International in July, found that 58 percent would pay more to live in smoke-free housing; 68 percent might not live in a smoking building in the first place.”
Far from being a buyer repellent, a smoking ban could turn out to be a savvy marketing move. We will bet that hasn’t escaped Related’s notice either.