As the sun continues to shine upon our beautiful state, we are reminded of the importance of maintaining a healthy and harmonious living environment for everyone. Smoking, a topic of significant concern in modern society, is no exception when it comes to community living in strata properties.
Individual strata schemes have the authority to create and enforce by-laws that govern smoking within the community. These by-laws may vary from one property to another, highlighting the importance of understanding and respecting local regulations. The prohibition of smoking in shared areas helps maintain air quality and reduces the risks associated with secondhand smoke exposure.
It is common to have By-Laws in place to prohibit smoking on the Common Property, however historically it has been difficult for Bodies Corporate to prohibit smoking within a Lot, including on the balcony of a lot. The recent adjudication of Artique  QBCMCmr 596 (21 December 2021) from the Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management has now ruled that the smoke drift in this particular instance was causing a hazard to another lot and was therefore a breach of the By-Laws and of section 167(a) of the Body Corporate and Community Management Act.
The primary goal of the By-Laws is to ensure a harmonious and comfortable living experience for all residents. As a community, let’s come together to respect one another’s rights and well-being.
There are steps that you can take as an owner or occupier in a Body Corporate. This includes familiarising yourself with the smoking regulations and by-laws specific to your strata property and being open to discussing any concerns about smoking within your strata community. Collaborative discussions can lead to solutions that benefit everyone.
Some strata communities have designated smoking areas to mitigate smoke drift concerns. If this is an option, ensure you use these areas responsibly and follow any rules in place.
Remember that smokers and non-smokers are part of the same community. Demonstrating empathy and understanding can go a long way in fostering positive relationships and a sense of unity.
As we move forward together, let’s continue to prioritize the well-being of our fellow residents and contribute to a thriving, inclusive, and smoke-free strata community. By respecting regulations and promoting open communication, we can create an environment where everyone feels valued and cared for.
Further information in relation to By-Laws and smoking in Bodies Corporate can be found at: