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Proposed Community Titles Act changes - Smoking in Common Areas

Second-hand smoke is a known cause of cancer and the Cancer Council NSA states that people living in apartments are more likely to experience second-hand smoke due to how close they live to their neighbours.

Second-hand smoke can drift between apartments through windows, doors, hallway and stairwells.

The Cancer Council NSW has a toolkit available here :

The Legislations Governing Stratas in New South Wales and South Australia vary greatly, however, in the draft Strata & Community Titles Act amendments for 2023, the South Australian Government has allowed Community Corporations the opportunity to make a stand in this matter.

By the proposed changes, the Community Titles Act 1996 will be amended as follows:

(1) Section 34(3)—after paragraph (c) insert:

(caa) regulate or prohibit smoking in the common property or the drifting of tobacco smoke or aerosol produced by e-cigarettes from one lot to another or to the common property; or

(2) Section 34(9)—before the definition of prescribed amount insert: e-cigarette has the same meaning as in the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products 30 Act 1997;

(3) Section 34(9)—after the definition of prescribed amount insert: smoking has the same meaning as in the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997

This change will allow the Corporation to make by-laws to regulate smoking of tobacco and related products on the shared common property areas and also have rules in place to prevent smoke drift from private lots onto other lots or common property.

It is noted that Strata Corporations are already able to amend their articles to this effect under the existing provisions of the Strata Titles Act 1988, but the existing power of community corporations to make by-laws in this respect has been limited.

Over the past two decades, I have had this matter reported in multiple properties and when raised, these have been challenging matters for all residents involved. As a Strata Community Manager I am glad to see clarity as this helps all unit owners to determine the rules that they wish to have in place for their property and as an asthmatic I trust that the ability to regulate matters will allow more residents to breathe easy.


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