Starting August 28, 2018, all residential buildings with three or more units in New York City will be required to adopt a written smoking policy. This applies to rentals, co-ops, and condos.
The new ordinance, called Local Law 147, does not require buildings to ban smoking outright. On the contrary, it simply requires them to enact a policy in writing with regards to on-premises smoking rules.
Keep in mind, however, that smoking in the common areas of residential buildings such as lobbies, gardens, hallways, and elevators is already prohibited. For all intents and purposes, this new ordinance requires that landlords, co-op corporations, and condominium associations take a definitive stance on whether or not they will continue to permit smoking in individual units, and must then codify that policy into their operating documents.
The Law Explained
David Berkey, a partner at Gallet Dreyer & Berkey, a law firm based in Manhattan, says: “The law now requires cooperatives and condominiums to formally adopt a smoking policy and to publish it so that all of the shareholders, their sublets, all unit owners, and their tenants become aware of what the smoking policy is. They either have to distribute it to each resident or post it in a conspicuous place. Any time there’s a change in the policy, they have to distribute or post it again. If there is a lease that’s being used in connection with the occupancy, the policy must be described clearly in the lease.”
The same goes for sales contracts on co-op and condo units as well. “What’s new here,” Berkey adds, “is the obligation to have a policy and to publish it, so that everyone is aware of it.”