Landlord Sues to Stop Tenant from Smoking in Apartment During COVID Crisis

LVT Number: #30789

(Decision submitted by Brian Graifman of the Manhattan law firm of Borah, Goldstein, Altschuler, Nahins & Goidel, P.C., attorneys for the landlord.)

Landlord sued tenant, seeking to protect the health and welfare of its building tenants during the COVID-19 emergency. Landlord claimed that tenant smoked in her apartment in a manner that caused potentially toxic secondhand smoke, and in spite of the building's no-smoking policy.

Another tenant had complained that tenant's smoking was adversely affecting her health, that tenant's smoking had intensified since the state's shelter-at-home policy took effect, and that it constituted a "physical assault" and harassment. The other tenant claimed that heavy smoke from tenant's apartment had reached her throat, sinus, and eyes, was burning her lungs and sinuses, caused her a loss of sleep, and made her violently ill with migraine headaches. She had to wear a mask in her apartment and was forced to leave her apartment, putting her at further risk. Landlord asked the court to set a court date quickly and to order tenant to stop smoking in her apartment.

The court ruled for landlord, setting a May court date for a hearing. In the meantime, until the parties were heard further, the court ordered tenant not to smoke in her apartment in a manner to cause secondhand smoke to permeate the building and the other tenant's apartment.

J&P Realty, LLC v. Schevill: Index No. 651811/2020(E)(Sup. Ct. NY; 4/29/20; Bluth, J) [4-pg. doc.]