Related bans smoking in all its U.S. rentals

June 14, 2013 12:30PM

In the midst of a major health kick, Related Companies has prohibited smoking in all of its rental apartments — not just across the city, but across the nation, the New York Times reported. The rule will affect a total of 40,000 rentals as it gradually goes into effect.

The new measure appears to be the first from a landlord to have such a broad reach. Last month, residents of Zeckendorf Towers, the condominium complex near Union Square, became the largest building in the city to ban smoking.

It also comes on the heels of Related launching a bike share program for residents of 10 of its Manhattan rentals.

The ban stipulates that new tenants must ink a deal saying they will promise not to smoke in any area of their building — even on private terraces if they have them. Break the rules, and face potential eviction.

Current tenants don’t face eviction, but when their leases come up for renewal, they must sign a contract agreeing to the same promise.

Of course, the ban has its critics. Polina Skoch, a smoker and resident of Related’s One Union Square South, told the Times that “it’s just mean.” Lawyers told the paper that Related has rent-regulated tenants, and their protections, such as guaranteed lease renewals, would make eviction a difficult penalty to enforce.

Still, Jeffrey Brodsky, the president of Related Management told the Times that “it’s not unlike somebody playing their tuba at two in the morning and compromising their neighbors’ efforts to enjoy their apartments.” [NYT]Zachary Kussin