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Apartments go smoke free

Al Edenloff | Echo Press Last week’s announcement that four apartment complexes in Alexandria are going smoke free is part of a trend that’s been happening locally for some time. This apartment building on 6th Avenue East prohibited smoking on the premises months ago. (Al Edenloff/Echo Press)

In 2001, the Center for Energy and Environment conducted a survey that revealed that almost 50 percent of Minnesotans who rent in an apartment complex say that secondhand smoke gets into their apartment from somewhere else.

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More than a third of those surveyed, 37 percent, reported that it bothered them so much that they were considering moving.

Beginning April 1, all Lloyd Management apartments in Alexandria will be smoke-free multi-housing units. Complexes in the area owned by Lloyd Management are Cardinal Manor, Lakewood Apartments, Lincoln Apartments and McKay Apartments.

In the past year and a half, Lloyd Management has had 48 properties go smoke free. They are based in Mankato and have more than 100 properties in 43 towns.

Erin Anderson, the property manager for Lakewood, Lincoln and McKay, said that the decision to go smoke-free was based on the health for other residents and employees, the turnover/cleanup cost, fire risk and overall tenant happiness.

“It will create less complaints from other tenants saying smoke is getting into their apartments,” Anderson said.

As the apartments become vacant, management will do the necessary repairs to deal with smoke damage. Carpet and paint are the biggest expense, costing anywhere from $2,500 to $4,000.

For the tenants who currently smoke, Anderson said the transition is going pretty good.

“They are all aware that it’s happening,” said Anderson. “There are always those few who aren’t willing, but there’s been a good success rate.”

At this point, Anderson reports that there have been no complaints across her desk from smokers in her buildings.

There are 17 other smoke-free housing units in Douglas County. Fourteen are located in Alexandria, two in Osakis, and one in Brandon.

To find a directory of smoke-free units, visit the Live Smoke Free website at

Annie Harman
Annie Harman is a reporter for Echo Press and The Osakis Review. She grew up in Detroit Lakes and graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire with a degree in print journalism and history in May 2012. Follow her on Twitter at annieharman
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