Tenants complain about smoking policy enforcement

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Some tenants of the Meadowbrook Apartments in Northampton are upset at the management company. They say they haven’t done enough to enforce a no smoking policy.

There’s 250 apartments at the Meadowbrook Complex. In 2013, a fire caused by smoking materials destroyed a Meadowbrook Apartment building.

There’s a no smoking policy, but tenants told 22News it’s not being followed.

“I know for a fact that a lot of people do smoke in the apartments because every time we go into the apartments it smells heavily like cigarette smoke,” said Erica Archambault, who’s mother lives at Meadowbrook.

Others don’t like the policy. “To tell someone you smoke in your own apartment! If you pay the bills, what does it matter?,” asked James Irwin, who used to live in the complex.

When the 22News I-Team visited the Meadowbrook Apartments in February, the no smoking signs had not been put up yet. Now they are. But tenants told 22News it hasn’t stopped people from violating the policy.

Looking around the property, you can see cigarette butts on the ground, just feet from the building’s doors. Cigarette butts also litter the ground near the children’s playground.

Dashaun Andino is a Meadowbrook Tenant. “There’s kids around here too so if they play with their mom’s lighter or anything that starts a fire. It’s a hazard,” he said.

Outside of the management office, there’s a cigarette receptacle.

22News went to the property manager for answers. We were originally told no one could talk to us. But after calling ownership, they eventually gave us permission to talk to the property manager.

She refused to go on camera, but told 22News they follow up on complaints, and admitted that enforcing the policy has been difficult.

The property manager told 22News tenants were given a copy of the policy months before September of last year.

If someone is caught smoking, they can be evicted.

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