Is Your Property Code Compliant with HUD's New Smoke-Free Rule?
The HUD smoke-free regulation takes effect this February 2017. Multifamily property managers can refer to this blog to learn some of the benefits that come with the regulation and to quickly ensure that they are in compliance.
As we are sure those of you property managers in the public housing/multifamily sector are aware, HUD recently passed a final regulation that bans all public house smoking in an effort to lessen vulnerability to secondhand smoke. If you have not implemented any type of enforcement or smoking policy in the past, figuring out how to comply to yet another regulation may seem like a stressful or daunting task, but there are several bright sides to the new HUD regulation that you should take note of:
- You have time to implement enforcement. HUD’s federal law, effective February 17, allows Public Housing Authorities 18 months after its inception to make sure they are in compliance.
- The regulation promotes the safety and health of your residents. This is something that we know is very important to residents, and, therefore, should always be a priority of ours. (As a company dedicated to making properties safer, this is why we here at Kings III have such an interest in this regulation.
- Finally, we will provide regulation specifics in a simple manner below so that you can quickly and easily ensure that you are compliant. It doesn’t have to be hard!
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What is banned under HUD’s smoke-free regulation
The rule bans all prohibited tobacco products. This includes:
- Hookah (waterpipes)
Where it is banned
The following are the areas that property managers are responsible for enforcing smoke-free practices within their property:
- Administrative offices
- Electrical closets
- Common or shared indoor areas
- Living units
- Outdoor areas falling within 25 feet of administrative offices and housing
- Units of storage
Additional restrictions: The HUD smoke-free regulation additionally allows for PHAs to create further smoking regulations regarding their properties. Examples of this include requiring a smoke-free playground area, a smoke-free pool or even banning smoking throughout all grounds in their entirety.
How to implement it
HUD requires documentation of new smoke-free implementation written in all property plans. This will necessitate public meetings and resident involvement that is required when changes are made to the plan.
The new smoke-free regulations must also be included within residents’ leases. This includes the addition of the regulation to existing residents, which can be changed at any time during the lease via written consent of both the authority and the resident. Residents must be given 30 days’ notice of the new regulation. Changes can be made to the regulation at any time, but residents again will need 30 days’ notice upon any changes. Signage throughout the property is encouraged but not required.
By referencing the above, you can quickly spot-check yourself and your property to ensure that you are compliant with the new HUD regulation, and, in turn, creating a safer environment for your residents. To see HUD’s final rule in its entirety, you can visit the Office of the Federal Register’s listing here. To learn of additional ways to increase your property’s safety with the help of Kings III, visit www.kingsiii.com.