Body Corporate FAQs
Can a body corporate declare a building to be 100% smoke-free?
The Myth of a Smoke-Free Strata Building in Queensland
The common myth that a body corporate can declare a strata building in Queensland to be ‘smoke-free’ is just that: a myth.
Smoking is a lawful activity.
While body corporate committees do have significant powers to enact by-laws that regulate the use of common property that causes a nuisance or a hazard (see next question), that power has not yet been extended to ban lot owners or residents from smoking in the privacy of their own home.
There has always been an expectation that once inside their front door, people can do as they please in their property, provided they don’t interfere unreasonably with other people’s use and enjoyment of their lot.
However, a significant ruling in 2022 tipped the balance in favour of bodies corporate seeking more control over smoking, where an adjudicator found that passive smoke drifting from one resident’s balcony into a neighbouring lot constituted a hazard.
The adjudicator noted: “If the respondent wishes to smoke within the interior of her lot, I will require her to take reasonable steps to ensure that smoke drift does not affect neighbouring lots.” (See further reading below and the webinars for more detail).
Bodies corporate wanting to maintain practical smoking by-laws on their books are encouraged to seek a legal review of their CMS to ensure their proposed regulation of it is up to date and enforceable.
Hynes Webinars related to Smoking in Strata
Passive smoking in strata: https://blog.hyneslegal.com.au/webinars/smoking-in-strata-webinar
Landlords, bodies corporate and smoking: https://blog.hyneslegal.com.au/webinars/smoking-in-strata
Strata law reform and smoking: https://blog.hyneslegal.com.au/webinars/strata-laws-what-should-happen-next