New York City considers law on apartment smoking disclosure

Recently introduced legislation in New York City would require apartment owners and rental property management firms to formulate and disclose a clear policy on smoking to current and prospective residents.

Many landlords choose not to rent to known smokers already, with the result that residents may try to get around the prohibition or face reduced housing choices. They may avoid notice successfully by smoking on balconies or roofs. It may be easier to do so in older buildings, which have less ventilation between apartment units. From smokers' perspective, the disclosure law could result in more landlords banning smoking, Multi-Housing News notes.

While they would not be required to do so, appealing to the larger number of non-smokers may be too good an opportunity to pass up for most. On the other hand, if the number of landlords allowing smoking drops, those who remain may find increased competition for their apartments, encouraging the policy.

Generally, the current trend seems to be against allowing smoking, according to the New York Times. Many tenants are expressing a preference for smoke-free buildings, motivating landlords to cater to that desire.