Disclosure of Smoking Policies

Local Law 147 was enacted on August 28, 2017 and requires building owners’ and managers’ compliance within 365 days. Specifically, the law requires that buildings devise a smoking policy that is to be distributed to tenants and apartment owners. Additionally, the policy must be posted in conspicuous public areas within the building.

The law does not prescribe what the policy should be. However, Landlords and Boards should note that Local Law 147 does extend the current law prohibiting smoking in common areas in buildings with fewer than 10 apartments. Should Landlords and Boards for buildings with more than 10 apartments choose to permit smoking in select common areas, including but not limited to outdoor spaces, patios, balconies and rooftops, the policy must be specific about where smoking is and is not allowed.

Public housing will be under HUD mandate to make buildings, including apartments and a 25-foot perimeter around the building, smoke free by mid-2018. Residential rental buildings may lawfully ban smoking building-wide. Co-ops and Condominiums, on the other hand, should look to amend their bylaws and proprietary leases.

The law’s intent is to serve as a form of disclosure to inform prospective tenants or purchasers. As such, the smoking policy and its disclosure has to be considered in sublet arrangements and sales. It is advisable to speak with an attorney regarding modifications to lease language, claims of rights violations or to consider soliciting smoking information from interested co-op or condominium buyers, to name a few situations where the law affects landlord/tenant transactions and relations.

To read the law as enacted, click here.

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