Landlords required to draft, disclose smoking policy to tenants
Smoke-free properties are cheaper to maintain.
The same anti-tobacco groups have offered to provide sample disclosure statements for landlords to use. The Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition has offered to reimburse landlords up to $500 for the cost of advertising a smoke-free building if they use the international no smoking logo or the phrase “No Smoking Allowed” in apartment rental ads.
This law comes on the heels of a number of important court cases, including several that have held that because second-hand smoke is known to cause illness and disease, including cancer, landlords can be held liable if a tenant gets sick due to second-hand smoke. Landlords can also be held liable for damage and injury due to smoke or fire.
Additionally, the New York Supreme Court has held recently that smoking is not a right and therefore smokers cannot sue for discrimination if a landlord goes smokeless. That opinion, coupled with the new rules, makes it clear that it is not against the law for a landlord to ban smoking and to refuse to rent to applicants who do not agree to abide by the policy. However, the new rules make it clear that tenants must be notified of the smoking ban at lease-signing or before.
Oregon has passed similar legislation.
See our feature, Battle for Smoke-Free Apartments Heats Up.
American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your commercial housing investment, including real estate forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at www.joinaaoa.org.
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