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Can landlords ban smoking in an entire apartment building? NYCurious

Smoking can be banned in an entire apartment

Smoking can be banned in an entire apartment building if a landlord so chooses. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

This is part of our NYCurious series, where we answer your burning questions about the city. Ask yours here.

Yes, building owners can choose to rent entirely smoke-free buildings, including inside apartments. 

According to Local Law 147, which went into effect on Aug. 28, 2018, landlords who own residential buildings with three or more units are required to create a policy on smoking and disclose it to their tenants. 

The city’s Smoke-Free Air Act bans smoking tobacco and non-tobacco products and using e-cigarettes in all common indoor areas, including hallways, stairwells and lobbies. But building owners can choose to apply a smoke-free policy in any other part of the building as well, such as inside apartments and in common outdoor areas. 

The policy must be added to new leases and given to all tenants in writing or posted visibly in the building. 

Landlords may choose to apply a restrictive policy to all new tenants while allowing existing tenants to continue smoking in their own apartments. The policy would only apply to current residents after they sign a new lease. Rent-stabilized and rent-controlled tenants would be exempt from the policy unless they agree to it, according to Local Law 147.

Building owners also can choose to ban only certain kinds of smoking, such as tobacco and marijuana, but allow e-cigarettes. 

If owners do not share their policy on smoking, they are subject to a fine. Tenants who have not received a policy or seen it posted can call 311.

A list of smoke-free buildings can be found at smokefreehousingny.org.

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