New York City has recently banned smoking in public parks and beaches as well as pedestrian malls and plazas after already banning bars and restaurants years ago. These laws were passed to minimize second hand smoke exposure and recent polls show that people are in favor of them.
So what do these laws mean for condominiums and co-ops? The Boards of these buildings must address all second hand smoke complaints and remedy the situation. They can impose a total ban on smoking in the building or can make an exception for current owners who smoke. A co-op board can reject prospective buyers who smoke.
Many rental buildings have begun to ban smoking for new tenants but condominiums and co-ops are hesitant. They fear the decrease in property values as well as the interference with perceived privacy rights if a smoking ban were implemented. However with neighbors suing each other over second hand smoke and the public majority favoring the city smoking bans, this issue will not go away any time soon.