BY JOHN KIRITSIS, ESQ., CPA, MBA, MS, JD, LL.M
Smoking regulations in New York City (NYC) condominiums (condos) are designed to address the health and comfort of residents and to comply with city and state laws that govern smoking in multi-unit residential buildings. NYC has enacted strict regulations related to smoking in residential buildings, including condos. Here are some key points to consider regarding smoking laws in NYC condos:
- NYC Smoke-Free Air Act:
The NYC Smoke-Free Air Act, also known as the Smoke-Free Air Act (SFAA), prohibits smoking in indoor areas of public places and certain indoor areas of residential buildings, including common areas of condos.
- Smoke-Free Areas:
Under the SFAA, smoking is generally prohibited in enclosed indoor common areas of residential buildings, such as lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators, and laundry rooms.
- Private Units:
While the SFAA does not outright ban smoking within private units, condos have the authority to establish their own rules regarding smoking within individual units. Condo associations can prohibit smoking within units or on private balconies if they choose.
- Implementing Smoke-Free Policies:
Condo associations have the option to adopt smoke-free policies that extend beyond the requirements of the SFAA. These policies can include complete smoking bans within units, on balconies, and even in outdoor common areas.
- Disclosures to Buyers and Tenants:
NYC law requires sellers and landlords to provide written disclosures to prospective buyers or tenants about the building’s smoking policies and any applicable smoking restrictions.
- Condo Bylaws and House Rules:
Condo associations can establish smoking policies through their bylaws, house rules, and amendments to these documents. It’s important for residents and potential buyers to review the condo’s governing documents to understand the smoking rules that apply to the building.
- Enforcement and Penalties:
Violations of the SFAA and condo smoking policies may result in fines and penalties. Condo associations can enforce their smoking policies through warnings, fines, and other measures.
- Accommodating Medical Needs:
Condo associations are required to accommodate residents with disabilities, which may include medical conditions that require smoking for therapeutic purposes. Reasonable accommodations should be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Transitioning to Smoke-Free Buildings:
If a condo decides to transition to a smoke-free building, proper communication, and a phased approach can help residents adjust to the new policy.
Given the complexity of smoking regulations and potential legal implications, condo associations and residents are advised to consult legal professionals who specialize in NYC condominium law. It’s important to ensure that smoking policies are clearly communicated, consistently enforced, and compliant with all relevant laws and regulations.
Citations, References and Potentially Useful Resources for Further Information:
New York State Constitution
Federal Securities Regulation
New York State Martin Act
New York Condominium Act
New York State Security Regulations
New York Business Corporation Law
New York Limited Liability Company Law
New York Uniform Partnership Act
Federal Internal Revenue Code
New York State Tax Laws, Rules & Regulations
New York City Tax Laws, Rules & Regulations
Winston Churchill Owners, Inc. v. Regents Real Estate Associates
Board of Managers of the Park Regis Condominium v. Park Regis Owners Corp.
Park Sutton Condominium v. 447 E. 57th St. LLC
28 E. 10th Street Corp. v. Veras
Riverside Syndicate, Inc. v. Munroe
Essex House Condominium v. Marks
The Parc Vendome Condominium v. Atkinson
54-56 Meserole Street Owners Corp. v. Rossi
The Beekman Regent Condominium v. Bottiglieri
Chelsea 19th LLC v. West 19th Street Realty LLC
New York Department of Finance
New York City Department of Buildings
New York City Bar Association
New York State Bar Association
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