Where's the Smoke??

The last bastion of smokers seem to be their own four walls and outside in the garden or on the balcony.

And this is exactly what is currently being reviewed by the Queensland University of Technology Law School for the Queensland State Government.

But before all the smoke-lovers of you light up in disgust, or the anti-smokers jump for joy, how many of you know the actual situation with regards to smoking in apartment buildings in Queensland?

Common areas of a building are definitely 'off limits' to cigarettes. These are the areas open to all building residents - starting with the entrance lobby and lifts and further to other resident's facilities such as pool, BBQ and entertainment area, gym, sauna, as well as other rooms or places within the building available to residents.

Once it comes to units and the associated balconies then it becomes a bit trickier as the current Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 does not really state in clear 'black and white' whether you can or if you cannot light up. According to the Act apartment owners must not "use their unit or common property in a way that causes nuisance or hazard, or unreasonably interferes with the use or enjoyment of another unit, or common property."

Here's not the time or place to start a discussion about when and how much smoke from other balconies is considered a 'nuisance' or 'hazard', but needless to say, the wording isn't crystal clear. If there are any issues about smoke from other units then they must go through the office of the commissioner for body corporate who can provided further information and dispute resolution. Body corporates can then seek legal advice.

Nevertheless, it's this lack of clarity in the smoking situation that is just one part of a full review of the Act currently being undertaken.

Have your say!

Public consultation and input are important features of the review, according to Queensland's Attorney General, Jarrod Bleijie, so apartment owners are able to make their views heard and comment on various issues within the review of the Act by visiting www.justice.qld.gov.au .

If you feel strongly either way then I would encourage you to make your views known.

This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comment.