Smoking in Link Apartments Manchester could lead to fines and eviction.
Link Apartments Manchester is one of Richmond's newest developments. It is visible from the Manchester Bridge. There is a work-out room, free garage parking, and views of the Richmond skyline. But there is a catch - smoking is banned on the premises.
"We have decided to make our community be Richmond's first big property that has completely no smoking anywhere," said property manager Diane Walston.
It is a move that comes in the city that is home to cigarette company Philip Morris.
"Some people say how can you tell a person what to do in your own home?" we asked Walston.
"Well that's part of the lease," she replied.
There is a smoking addendum that declares smoking anywhere inside buildings of the apartment community is strictly prohibited.
"To live in a building where you know it is smoke free and people are really going to stand behind that it is really nice," said new resident Lauren Cunningham.
Walston says she is working on a three strike system. People caught smoking would receive a warning the first time, a possible $250 fine the second time, and an up to $500 fine or eviction the third time.
That drove us to Richmond's Housing Opportunities Made Equal office. We wanted to know is this legal?
"These no smoking bans are still rather uncommon, but again there is nothing in Virginia law that prohibits a landlord or property management company from saying that you can't smoke on the premises," said Rachael Deane who is director of the Systemic Investigations and Enforcement Center for Housing Advocacy.
The no smoking ban includes guests to any of the 187 units.
"It's nice to have that feature," said Lauren. "And have, you know, clean air."
Walston says all the money raised from fines will go to the Lung Cancer Foundation.
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