New Smoking Policy Rule Goes into Effect Next Year
For years, the city has banned smoking in the common areas of buildings with 10 or more apartments. Beginning in February 2018, the city will extend this prohibition to include buildings with three or more units. In addition, Mayor de Blasio recently signed a measure into law that will require owners to write a policy explaining where smoking is permitted in their buildings, if at all, and to share these protocols in leasing documents beginning August 2018.
According to the new law, a smoking policy is defined as “a written declaration that states in a clear and conspicuous fashion where smoking is permitted or prohibited on the premises of a Class A multiple dwelling.” The policy must address all indoor and outdoor locations of the building, including common areas, dwelling units, common courtyards, rooftops, balconies, patios, and outdoor areas connected to dwelling units. The policy impacts all residents, tenants, owners, lessees, and sub-lessees, and invitees of tenants–anyone on the property.
According to the law, owners who fail to comply with the policy rules will be liable for a $100 penalty per violation. Failing to have the documentation during inspections or upon request will result in fines of $100 per violation, with $50 penalties handed down to individuals smoking or using electronic cigarettes as prohibited by the existing laws. And steeper penalties of up to $2,000 per infraction could be handed down for related infractions tied to designated smoking room regulations or employer policies.