The New York City Administrative Code was recently amended to require owners of residential Class A rental buildings, condominium boards of managers and cooperative boards of directors to establish smoking policies for their buildings. The new law takes effect on August 28, 2018.
Adam A. Levenson has written the following summary of the important aspects of the new law:
Disclose Permitted and Prohibited Smoking Locations
The smoking policy must list all of the indoor and outdoor areas of the property where smoking is prohibited and/or permitted, including common areas and dwelling units, terraces, balconies, rooftops, courtyards and patios.
Distribute Written Policy or Post the Smoking Policy in a Prominent Place
Once adopted, the smoking policy must be distributed annually to all building residents or posted in a “prominent” place in the building. Although the law does not define a “prominent” place, we recommend posting written notice in the building lobby or vestibule.
Incorporate the Smoking Policy into Contracts of Sale, Leases, and By-laws or House Rules
The smoking policy must be incorporated into any contract of sale for a condominium or coop unit, any lease or rental agreement (including subleases by tenants, condominium unit owners and cooperative shareholders), and the condominium’s or cooperative’s by-laws or house rules.
Disclose Material Changes to the Smoking Policy
Material changes to the building’s smoking policy must be distributed to building residents or posted in a prominent location in the building.
City Inspections and Penalties for Non-Compliance
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene may inspect the building for compliance with its smoking policy. Civil penalties may be imposed if a building owner fails to adopt and disclose the smoking policy.
Smoking Policy Not Binding on Existing Tenants Until Lease Renewal
The new law provides that a newly-adopted smoking policy will not apply to existing tenants with unexpired leases, but will apply to all future tenants and to existing tenants upon lease renewal. Condominium unit owners and cooperative shareholders are not exempt from the law irrespective of when they purchased their units or executed their proprietary leases.
Next Steps for all Condominiums and Cooperatives
No later than August 28, 2018, all offering plans and existing condominium and cooperative by-laws will need to be amended to comply with the new law, including posting the smoking policy in existing buildings. In addition, lease agreements will have to be updated accordingly.
If you have any questions regarding this new smoking policy, or any other real estate related matter, please contact Seiden & Schein, P.C. at 212.935.1400.