Smoking is less publicly acceptable than ever. Every street corner seem to be filled with furtive smokers cowering from the rain and from public view, cast out of their warm corners by those who refuse to be affected by their habits.
The reaction to smokers can cost them their comfort and their conversation. However, it can also seriously damage their finances to when they come to rent a property.
People planning to rent a property don't like to see signs of smokers. A survey by property website Globrix.com found that 8% would not live in a property previously occupied by a smoker and 40% would think twice about renting somewhere previously occupied by a smoker.
As a result 60% of landlords would never let a smoker in. If they do decide to let to a smoker, 50% would charge higher rents, with extra cleaning charges on top. Jennifer Warner from Globrix.com said: "It is no surprise that in today's ultra-competitive rental market, landlords are coming down hard on smokers, penalising them with higher rental charges and in many cases refusing to let properties to smokers at all."
In most instances, therefore, casual smokers will simply deny the habit. Some 39% of smokers said they would not tell a potential landlord if they were a smoker.
They will tell themselves they will not smoke at the property, and will sign up for a smoke-free property. It's only at that point that the corners will be cut, and thousands of smokers can be found at open windows, breathing their toxic fumes into the garden in the vague hope they won't be found out.
Of course, this may seem innocent enough, but it's a dangerous business. At the very least if the landlord discovers you will be out on your ear. But more seriously, if the property was to be damaged, you would end up paying for it. A third of landlords confirmed they had held back deposit money to cover the cost of cleaning or repairing homes that have been smoke damaged in the past. If the damage is more severe, or if the smoke caused a fire and you have declared yourself non smoking, you could find yourself liable for unimaginable costs.
And you cannot escape the cost by saving up and buying your own property. Because you will simply see the value of your property destroyed by your smoke. For those who would consider buying a property from a smoker, almost one-in-four buyers would expect a discount.
The answer, therefore, would seem to be either to buy a warm coat and get used to the outdoors, or to give up - which is far easier said than done. But what do you think? Do you mind smokers smoking in your home? Would you rent your property out to a smoker? Let us know in the comments.