Cigarette smoke from neighbours apartments gets into mine. I’m an asthmatic and this causes me constant issues. What can I do? – Nicole, QLD

Unfortunately, its hard to restrict people from smoking within their own property as all owners have the right to enjoy their property in their own way. If they’re smoking on common property such as corridors, staircases, common rooms, gardens, etc. they can be restricted by your body corporate.

You may wish to have an open discussion with your neighbour and explain your concerns first. You should also refer to your by-laws and find out what they state about smoking on common property – usually by-laws outline the limitations and restrictions related to smoking on common property.

If by-laws are unclear or insufficient, owners may file a motion on the agenda of a general meeting for the body corporate to find ways to amend the by-laws. They can also adopt a by-law and modify smoking related matters to suit the property and its residents specifically. The by-laws can be amended in your next AGM through a special resolution.

Breaching of by-laws can mean fines, so that may help curb the issue in some form. Here is an interesting read on what breaching of by-laws can mean for body corporates.