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how to get someone to obey by-law re: No Smoking
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06/01/2017 - 10:53 am
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Years ago, our entire building passed a by-law banning smoking. 

We have just had an old couple with minimal english move into the unit next to us. They smoke. Apparently the rental agent “didn’t know it was a no smoking building” – another example of useless agents, as there are signs everywhere saying the whole place is non-smoking. 

We spoke to them when they first moved in, spoke to the rental agent who told their son and got them to translate. Early December.

Mid December – smoke filled our apartment. Went and knocked on their door, they said oh their friend didn’t know it was no smoking. But they were there too – clearly they were smoking as well and/or didn’t care their friend was breaking the rules. 

December 28 – I drove up and saw them with a bunch of friends on the balcony smoking. They pointed at my car clearly not realising I could see them and went inside. 

This week – smoke again filled my apartment. Knocked on their door ”it’s raining and I’m sick so I can’t go outside to smoke”. 

There have been other occassions apart from these where they are smoking. 

Really, I’m over it. I live here BECAUSE it’s non smoking. Husband had severe allergies as a child. 

Our SM is great and has already issued a breach notice right at the beginning, with another on the way. But the Tribunal will take ages to get them fined or whatever. I don’t want to have to deal with this for another 3 months.

Any tips on how to get them to move out? I know it sounds mean but it’s been 2 months of them ignoring the by-laws, the agent shouldn’t have put them in, and I’m the one suffering for it. I just want them gone. So anyone who has ways to encourage this strongly would be appreciated! 

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11/01/2017 - 4:44 pm
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I had a similar problem a few years ago.

A call to the landlord fixed it

Remember it is the landlord that pays the fine if the tenants will not. Let the landlord know that

BTW the tenants should have been issued with a copy of the By Laws. The standard rental contract in NSW specifies it must be provided. It is a condition of the rental agreement that the tenants observe the bylaws.


Sir Humphrey

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11/01/2017 - 6:27 pm
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In the ACT and likely elsewhere the tenant and the owner are held jointly and separately liable to comply with the rules (aka by-laws). So, try the land-lord as suggested. 

Otherwise, its the Tribunal. My experience with the ACT Tribunal has been that it is very fair and reasonable and gives all parties time to put their case to ensure natural justice, so it takes time, but ultimately it makes a good decision. 

Be sure all along to make sure the other party understands that defying a breach notice and defying Tribunal orders are both legal offences. That has not stopped one person I know dragging a matter out by non-compliance. It is worth going through the process to demonstrate to the building that you are willing to enforce the rules. Saves more grief in the long run. 

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12/01/2017 - 8:47 am
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mrsireland said
But the Tribunal will take ages to get them fined or whatever. I don’t want to have to deal with this for another 3 months.

Firstly, the whole NCAT procedures should be a lot faster now that the paper adjudication has been removed and you go straight to a hearing.

Secondly, as suggested above, get the landlord breached too as they are responsible for the behaviour of their tenants. Also, in reality, it’s only the landlord who can evict people – the Owners Corp can only apply pressure to make this happen.

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17/01/2017 - 8:56 pm
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Thanks everyone for the advice and responses. The tenant has been issued with a termination notice, so we will see if the landlord actually follows through.

Have never seen this landlord at an AGM or sent proxies even, so I’m happy they’ve acted on this at least.


Hopefully the real estate agent will vet the next ones properly!

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