The following Q&A about Bylaws to ban smoking in apartments has been contributed to by Jan Browne, Whittles Strata Partners.
Question: Are there any laws that support bylaws to ban smoking in apartments in ACT?
I want to find some information about laws related to smoking in a strata complex. Are there any laws that support bylaws to ban smoking in apartments in ACT?
Answer: We have had 3 plans pursuing this issue in the last 3 months.
Interesting that this has come up now. We have had 3 plans pursuing this issue in the last 3 months.
One plan of 125 units is currently looking at amending their “House Rules” by way of a General Meeting and adding an additional Rule restricting smoking on common property and balconies. They have discussed the internals of the units as well.
ACT Government has recently had an online survey on increasing their Smoke Free Zones – Outdoor Smoke-free Areas Consultation. This survey closed in December.
The first lot of change of rules will be fine until challenged. But with precedents in other states including NSW, you would imagine that the Rules would stand. There would be other instances in the Rules protecting the residents.
See below in the Default Rules that most plans include if they do their own House Rules:
7 Use of unit—nuisance or annoyance
- A unit owner must not use the unit, or permit it to be used, in a way that causes a nuisance or substantial annoyance to an owner, occupier or user of another unit.
- This rule does not apply to a use of a unit if the executive committee has given an owner, occupier or user of the unit written permission for that use.
- Permission may be given subject to stated conditions.
- Permission may be withdrawn by special resolution of the owners corporation.