New Smoking Policy Rule Now in Effect

Did you know that smoking kills 12,000 New Yorkers every single year?

The government has always been at the forefront of the battle against smoking. The New York City government is now going beyond the cigarette tax and the no-smoking laws for every indoor establishment. One of the city’s recent laws on smoking, Local Law 147, affects you directly as a property owner.

Here’s all you need to know about NY’s newly effective Smoking Policy rule:

What is the new law?

Local Law 147 states that every building owner of Class A residential properties must create and share a Smoking Policy with each of their tenants.

The law was passed in August, 2017, but only went into effect on August 28th, 2018. You can read the full text of the law here.

Condos and co-ops must comply with Local Law 147 as well. The property’s board of managers, directors, or governing body act in lieu of the building owner. Every instance where the law refers to a tenant, it also encompasses all Class A dwellers, including individual unit owners and tenant-shareholders.

What is a Smoking Policy?

The DOH defines a Smoking Policy 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.”

A Smoking Policy must address every location of the building, including the following:

All common areas
All dwelling units
Common courtyards
Any outdoor areas that are connected to dwelling units

The Smoking Policy must be shared with all the units’ residents, including tenants, owners, lessees, sub-lessees, and any guests who are visiting the property.

It’s important to note that Local Law 147 is not meant to serve as a means in which to permit smoking in areas where it is prohibited by existing laws. All buildings must comply with previously-established smoking laws.

How is the Policy shared?

In order to comply with Local Law 147, all building owners must provide their tenants with a copy of the building’s Smoking Policy. Copies of the Policy must be distributed annually. Alternatively, the owner can post the Policy in a public and prominent area of the building.

The Policy must be included in all future lease agreements, purchase or share agreements, and subleases.

If a building has existing tenant regulations, the Smoking Policy must be incorporated into these rules.

If the owner chooses to make any changes to the building’s Smoking Policy, written notification of these changes must be provided to every tenant.

Once an owner has created the building’s Smoking Policy and has distributed it as per one of the aforementioned means, the owner must preserve a copy for agency inspectors and department representatives who may request to review it at any time.

Enforcement of the law

Local Law 147 will be strictly enforced. Owners who are non-compliant with the law, will be fined $100 per violation. Failure to provide the proper documentation of a building’s Smoking Policy during inspection or upon department request, can result in fines of $100 per violation. Tenants, who disobey the law and smoke or use electronic cigarettes in prohibited areas, will be fined $50 per violation.

As a property owner, you are required to create and share your own smoking policy with your renters. You can find DOH’s sample policy here and tweak it to fit your specifications.

If you’re unsure whether you are fully compliant with Local Law 147, don’t hesitate to give us a call. At Jack Jaffa & Associates, we’re here to help you be completely compliant with all relevant NY laws.