Call for balcony unit smoking ban
A SUNSHINE Coast body corporate agency is calling on the State Government to follow New South Wales and change its strata legislation to prevent smoking on the balconies of unit complexes.
Archers Body Corporate managing director Andrew Staehr said the issue of smoking on unit balconies was just as contentious in Queensland and action needed to be taken.
It comes as the Strata Laws Online Consultation report conducted by Global Access Partners revealed smoking on balconies and in common areas to be among the most common gripes in NSW.
"In unit complexes you're in very close proximity to your neighbours, so smoking isn't just a nuisance to some people, it becomes a potential health hazard," Mr Staehr said.
"There is a case in NSW at the moment where a body corporate and the body corporate manager are being sued by a unit owner who believes he contracted lung cancer from second-hand smoke drifting in from his neighbours."
Mr Staehr said even though unit owners could pass a by-law to make their building an entirely smoke-free zone, it was not easy to ensure absolute compliance.
"We manage quite a few buildings in Queensland that have introduced a by-law to ban smoking on balconies and the issue of controlling compliance is something we see quite often," Mr Staehr said.
"Unless there is solid evidence that owners are not complying with a non-smoking by-law and smoking where they shouldn't be, policing the problem can be difficult.
"We're calling on the government to crack down on smoking laws in strata complexes to help us prevent future problems."
Henzell's agent Doug Wilson said he supported the push to have smoking on balconies banned because it made for an unpleasant experience for non-smokers.
"I'm an advocate for the change. If you are on a balcony and someone is smoking even a couple of units away, you get that flow through of smoke," he said.
"I think smokers should have to contain their smoke. It is hard to police but if there was a law in place I think it would stop a lot of people.
"When I take prospective buyers on to the balcony of a unit and there is smoke coming from the next unit, that is the last time you see the buyer."