Santa Monica Lookout
New Santa Monica Smoking Ban to Take Effect Next Month
By Lookout Staff
October 25, 2012 -- After a year of debate, the Santa Monica City Council gave final approval Tuesday to a law that bans smoking in all apartment and condo units occupied after November 22.
Under the law, building owners and condo associations must start conducting a smoking survey of current occupants, who must designate their units either "smoking" or "non-smoking." The survey must be completed by January 21.
Current occupants can continue to smoke inside their units if they designate the units as "smoking," according to the law.
Once the survey is completed, landlords and condo associations "are required to give out the updated list of all units' smoking status to all occupants," said deputy City Attorney Adam Radinsky.
"In the future it must be kept updated, and given to all prospective renters and buyers along with a copy of the attached information sheet," Radinsky said.
Smoking in residential outdoor and indoor common areas, including balconies and patios, and in any area within 25 feet of any door, window or vent is already prohibited.
The ordinance passed only after much debate over the “designate and disclose” portion of the ordinance, a caveat that requires tenants to tell their landlords whether they want their apartment to be smoking, non-smoking or undisclosed.
If a property is already 100 percent smoke-free, the designation process is not required. The law also does not apply to temporary special needs housing for people with disabling conditions.
If a person continues to smoke in a non-smoking unit after receiving a written notice, the person may be taken to small claims court and is liable to pay damages starting at $100. Any person can enforce the law.
A tenant can still be evicted if the lease prohibits smoking under the law.
While property owners are required to conduct the survey and keep updated lists available, they are not required to enforce violations of the no-smoking rules.
Those who want to wuit smoking should visit nobutts.org, or call 1-800-NO-BUTTS.
For more information visit smconsumer.org, or call the City Attorney's Office, 310-458-8336.
|copyrightCopyright 1999-2012 surfsantamonica.com. All Rights Reserved.|