Q&A: Voting on a Smoking Ban?

Q. Someone made a motion at an association meeting to ban smoking on all of the condo property—the outdoor deck, the garage, the surrounding area until you get to the public sidewalks. Although many people left the meeting which was an otherwise a very contentious and long meeting, there was still a quorum. By a majority, but not a vote that would change the bylaws or master deed, the motion was carried. Is that all it takes to ban a condo owner from smoking outside?

                             —Perplexed Owner

A. “The association consists of three parts,” says attorney Elysa D. Bergenfeld of Ansell Grimm & Aaron P.C., which has offices in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York, “the common elements, the limited common elements and the unit. Depending upon the association’s master deed and bylaws, the association may be able to prohibit and/or regulate smoking in the common elements and the limited common elements via a vote of the board. An association may be able to legally regulate and/or prohibit smoking inside the units. However, such may not be practically possible.  

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