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One of the owners in my block smokes. She has taken steps to minimise the amount of smoke seeping into common property, but this has not entirely solved the problem. Some smoke also appears to enter other flats through ventilation vents. Before we go further down the road of complaints and warnings does anyone know of where I could obtain good advice on how to seal an apartment, including ventilation vents, to ensure that the smoke stays inside and does not impact on anyone else. Are there any services available that would help with this?
Ventilation is there for a reason and removing it or sealing it up could lead to all sorts of other problems in common property, such as damp, for a start. In any case, as soon as the resident opens her front door, contained fumes will escape into common property.
There is a legal precedent in NSW where tenants in a flat were ordered to stop smoking inside their property becasue all efforts to stop the smoke spreading to other units had failed.
But before you get to that, perhaps you might want to look at strategies the would allow the resident to keep smoking in a place that isn’t going to affect other owners.
The new model by-laws allow Owners Corps to establish a smoking area for residents where they can smoke in peace provided the smoke doesn’t drift into common property or other units.
In any case, before issuing complaints and warnings, how about sitting down with the resident and discussing strategies that might work for all concerned.
But if that fails, strata law identifies smoke from smoking as a nuisance so the door is open to take it further if need be.
Meanwhile, rather than trying to contain the smoke, you could talk to these “air quality engineers” to see if they have any bright ideas.
Just an idea – an enclosed designated smoking area such as you see at airports.
or google smoking cabins. Has anyone gone down this path?
Option B of By-law 9 in the model by-laws (below) clearly anticipates this. But the cost of providing a smoking area for one person may make this prohibitive. This is clearly aimed at schemes where significant numbers of people – possibly from the same ethnic background – find it hard to quit, and can’t smoke inside their homes or on their balconies without bothering neighbours.
(1) An owner or occupier of a lot, and any invitee of the owner or occupier, must not
smoke tobacco or any other substance on the common property, except:
(a) in an area designated as a smoking area by the owners corporation, or
(b) with the written approval of the owners corporation.
(2) A person who is permitted under this by-law to smoke tobacco or any other substance
on common property must ensure that the smoke does not penetrate to any other lot.
(3) An owner or occupier of a lot must ensure that smoke caused by the smoking of
tobacco or any other substance by the owner or occupier, or any invitee of the owner
or occupier, on the lot does not penetrate to the common property or any other lot.
We have a common area where our back door and the neighbouring flats back door open onto a landing and then there are steps downstairs to the side path. Our neighbours smoke on this landing and the smoke comes into our kitchen area. Even with the outside door and kitchen door closed, we still smell the smoke in the loungroom. I have brought it up at a strata meeting as a problem but did not insist on anything being done. I hope the landlord will tell his tenants to smoke elsewhere.
If this doesn’t happen, do we actually need a specific by law about it? The Strata Manager has a long list of by laws which have been bought up at the previous 2 AGM’s including by laws about smoking which cost about $1,500 to get registered etc. Some seem silly, like not asking permission from the strata committee to put up paintings, etc on the walls (Does anyone actually do this?)
I am in NSW
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