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St. Paul Adopts Smoking Policy Disclosure Requirement for Common Interest Communities

In January 2021, the St. Paul City Council adopted a new ordinance requiring sellers of homes located in common interest communities to disclose the smoking policy in place in the seller’s community. The disclosure requirement takes effect January 1, 2022.

Under the ordinance, all sellers of a unit or units within a CIC[1] are required to disclose the CIC’s smoking policy to prospective buyers. “Smoking” is broadly defined, and includes the typical cigars, cigarettes and pipes, but also includes the carrying or using an activated device such as e-cigarettes, e-cigars and vape pens.

In addition to providing the report to prospective buyers, a copy of the disclosure report must also be filed with the City’s Department of Safety and Inspections (https://www.stpaul.gov/departments/safety-inspections).

The disclosure report will be part of the Saint Paul Truth in Sale of Housing (TISH) report and must be completed by the seller of a unit before a property is offered for sale. The disclosure report must be available for review at the unit, along with the TISH report, and must state whether the CIC’s current governing documents or rules allow smoking, prohibit smoking, or restrict smoking. If smoking is restricted, the report must also disclose whether there are buildings, units and/or designated areas of the CIC property that are exempt from a “no smoking” policy and the location of those exempt areas, buildings, and units.  If the governing documents and rules are silent on a smoking policy, the report must disclose that.

As is the case with the Resale Disclosure Certificate required for sales of all units in common interest communities (regardless of whether they are otherwise governed by MCIOA), the ordinance requires sellers to make the disclosure. However, in addition to the disclosure that should be made in the Resale Disclosure Certificate as to the presence or absence of any regulations, restrictions or prohibitions on smoking, associations for communities located in St. Paul must now also be prepared to provide sellers with a statement that provides the information required under the ordinance.

The smoking disclosures must be made using a City-approved form. To date, the approved form is not available on the City’s website.

If you would like assistance with any disclosure statement, or any issue facing your community, please do not hesitate to contact Nancy Polomis at Hellmuth & Johnson, [email protected], or (952) 941-4005.

The information in this article is provided solely as general information and not as legal advice.  Receipt of this information or its use does not establish an attorney-client relationship.  Readers are urged to speak with a qualified attorney experienced in community association law when making decisions regarding a specific legal issue.

[1] “Common interest communities” (“CICs”) are defined in the ordinance as “condominiums, co-ops, retirement communities, townhomes, and other housing developments comprised of individually owned units, in addition to shared facilities and common areas,” and are governed by an association and its board of directors. This definition is broader than the definition included in the Minnesota Common Interest Ownership Act (MCIOA) (Minnesota Statutes 515B), the primary statute governing condominiums and many townhome communities.

 

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Nancy T. Polomis
Phone: 952-746-2105
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