June 13, 2013

How smoking at home reduces property values

A recent survey of Ontario real estate agents in Ontario found that smoking in a home could lower the value of your property by up to 30 per cent. The survey was sponsored by Pfizer Canada and besides the obvious damage by staining walls and carpets, it can leave a smell that is very hard to eliminate.

It makes sense that a home with a smoky smell or strong odour will be harder to sell as it will deter most buyers. 

Landlords are permitted to include no smoking clauses in their leases. But they can only evict a tenant who smokes if they can prove the smoking has damaged the unit or is bothering the other tenants

The Non-Smoker’s Rights Association published their own study demonstrating that the average costs for a landlord to clean an apartment is two to three times greater when it was occupied by a heavy smoker. They also quote statistics from Canadian Fire Marshals demonstrating that cigarettes, lighters and matches remain one of the top causes of residential fires.
Similar statistics are found with resale cars where the prior owner was a heavy smoker and it is difficult to remove the smell from the upholstery.

Buyers, be suspicious if you notice the fans going or electric air fresheners whenever visiting a home for the first time.
Sellers, don’t try to cover up or hide odour issues that you know about. Get rid of any foul odour before putting your home for sale, to maximize your return.