How can I tell if a NYC apartment building has smoking complaints?

By Austin Havens-Bowen  |
October 22, 2019 - 10:00AM

 A single Brooklyn address accounted for close to 7 percent of last year’s complaints.


If you're searching for your next apartment, second-hand smoke lingering in a building is probably a deal breaker for you. But even if a building has a no-smoking policy, you should still check out whether there are any smoke-related complaints before moving in.

That's because according to a new report by, many New Yorkers have complaints about their neighbors smoking. Over 1,800 such complaints were called in to 311 from August 2018 to August 2019. 

Last year, a city-wide apartment building smoking law was enacted. The law requires all buildings with three or more units to create smoking policies and to post the smoking rules in the building. But, the law simply requires a smoking policy, not necessarily a smoking ban. Additionally, In buildings with 10-plus units, smoking in common areas like lobbies and hallways is strictly prohibited. But this being NYC, people don't always follow the rules.

All five boroughs have a considerable amount of complaints, according to Localize’s report, with Brooklyn topping the list at 557 complaints in 172 buildings. Staten Island had the fewest number of complaints, with a total of 85 complaints across 11 buildings.

Coincidentally, Brooklyn also tops the list of buildings with the most complaints, the number one is in Bed-Stuy at 270 Pulaski St., with a total of 123 complaints over the last 12 months. The building with the most complaints in Manhattan is in Inwood at 595 West 207th St., with 80 complaints over the last year.

See how your borough stacked up below.




Austin Havens-Bowen

Staff Writer

Staff writer Austin Havens-Bowen covers the rental market and answers renters' questions in a column called Realty Bites. He previously reported on local news for the Queens Ledger and The Hunts Point Express in the Bronx. He graduated from Hunter College with a BA in media studies. He rents a one-bedroom apartment in Astoria with his boyfriend and their two cats.

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