This article about bylaws for smoking, smoke drift and nuisance in NSW strata has been provided by Adrian Mueller, JS Mueller & Co Lawyers.
‘Smoke Drift’ in Strata Blocks
In Australia, most apartment blocks, old or new have banned smoking in common areas such as hallways, common living spaces, outdoor communal areas and more.
In some states, strata committees have completely banned smoking in all areas of apartments by introducing smoke free by-laws.
And… fast becoming a reality in strata living is a total ban with smoke free apartment blocks.
In recent times second hand smoke has become a major health concern in Strata blocks with organisations such as the Cancer Council getting behind the move.
With this fight against smoke drift and new precedents being set landlords, owners corporations and strata managers need to carefully consider what kind of smoking by-laws will be implemented in their strata blocks. Here we outline three options:
1. Unrestricted Smoking By-law
Many older strata blocks may have unrestricted smoking as a default by-law unaware that they are leaving themselves in a vulnerable position. They should consider reviewing their by-laws to keep up with the latest health concerns and legalities.
2. Limited Smoking By-law
A ‘middle ground’ by-law may limit lot owners and tenants to only smoking within their apartment but not in common areas. However, there have been a number of cases where fines of up to $11,000 have been issued due to second hand smoke creating health issues.
3. Complete Smoking Ban By-law
Only some states currently allow a complete smoking ban. A complete ban includes all areas of apartment blocks, including individual apartments, balconies and common areas.
Ensure Your ‘Smoke Drift’ By-laws are Up to Date
If smoking is a problem in a strata building, the owners corporation should make a by-law prohibiting smoking. This type of by-law is simple to prepare and enforce. Orders can be obtained to stop residents smoking and put an end to second hand smoke drift. It’s also important to note that smoke drift can also be caused by BBQ’s.
Support for smoke-free multiunit living is high particularly among people living with children. It is only a matter of time before most strata buildings go smoke free.
This post appears in Strata News #483.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is provided for your personal information only. It is not meant to be legal or professional advice nor should it be used as a substitute for such advice. You should seek legal advice for your specific circumstances before relying on any information herein. Contact JS Mueller & Co for any required legal assistance.
JS Mueller & Co Lawyers has been servicing the strata industry across metropolitan and regional NSW for over 40 years. We are a specialist firm of strata lawyers with in depth and unmatched experience in, and comprehensive knowledge of strata law and levy collection.
This information is intended to provide a general summary only and should not be relied on as a substitute for legal advice.
Have a question about smoking and nuisance in NSW apartments or something to add to the article? Leave a comment below.
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This article has been republished with permission from the author and first appeared on the JS Mueller & Co Lawyers website.
Looking for strata information concerning your state? For state-specific strata information, take a look here.
Are you not sure about some of the strata terms used in this article? Take a look at our NSW Strata Glossary to help with your understanding.