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A landlord in California has announced that residents of almost 2,000 rented apartments will no longer be allowed to smoke in their homes. Until now, few property owners have employed the state’s new law, allowing landlords to ban smoking in rented apartments. The law went into effect in January.

Starting this month, new residents of The Towbes Group’s apartments in the Santa Barbara area will no longer be allowed to smoke in their units, the Los Angeles Times reports. Current residents have until the end of the year to comply with the new ban.

Towbes Group Vice President Jim Carrillo noted that the cost of cleaning an apartment when residents move out can be about twice as much if they smoked. “You can mask it with paint, but in order to totally remove the residue you have to scrape the walls,” then use primer and more layers of paint, he said. He added that countertops and cabinets may also require thorough cleansing treatments.

He noted the company’s decision was partly influenced by having to spend $4,000 on insulation, caulking and other methods to find and cover openings between a smoker’s apartment and a nonsmoker’s apartment. A majority of the company’s tenants are nonsmokers, he added.

A recent study found almost half of apartment residents say they can smell secondhand smoke from their neighbors in their own homes. Nearly one-third of people living in apartments say they can smell secondhand smoke in their building’s public spaces.

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