Strata Law-new options for owners regarding smoking

06/06/2017

In late 2016, the NSW government introduced new laws regarding smoking. The laws allow a strata scheme to adopt new “model rules” covering these topics.

So instead of a strata scheme having to expend time and money on preparing its own strata rules to control smoking, that strata scheme can simply adopt the model rules so they apply to the scheme.

We suggest that the Owners Corporation obtain a copy of the model rules and consider whether they are right for your strata building.

The model rules on smoking provide two options. The first option is to prohibit any smoking on the common property and to provide that an owner or occupier of a lot has to ensure that his smoke on the lot from him or his guests does not penetrate to the common property or any other lot.

The second smoking option is to provide that an owner or occupier and his guests must not smoke on the common property except in a designated smoking area or with the approval of the owners’ corporation.

In the result, by adopting these rules, a strata scheme can take a step to preventing smoking in hallways and other common property areas such as balconies and gardens.

However the model rules do not prevent smoking inside lots. If strata schemes want to make their whole scheme smoke free they will have to make a special by-law to this effect.

The process for use of the model laws is to ask the strata scheme to adopt them.  The Owners Corporation for existing strata schemes must opt in to change the by laws if the Owners Corporation wishes the model rules by laws to apply.

The model rules can also be adopted by default for new strata schemes. That is, once a new strata scheme is registered, then the model rules will apply unless the strata scheme decides otherwise.

Watson & Watson strata solicitors can provide specialist legal advice on strata law matters, assist you in resolving disputes in strata schemes, advise on court/tribunal process and draft documents and attend on court/tribunal if required.  Please feel free to contact Richard Watson or his assistant Shereen Da Gloria should you have any enquiries regarding “model rules” in strata schemes.

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