How can we stop the nuisance of smoke drift in a residential apartment building coming from balconies? – Gail, QLD

This is a common issue in strata living as smoke may drift in from neighbouring apartments and common areas such as corridors.Whether you can prevent smoke drift depends on where the smokers are when they’re smoking. If they’re doing so within the confines of their own private property, your owners corporation will not be able to restrict them as they have a right to enjoy their property in their own way. However, if they’re smoking in common areas, they may be breaching by-laws. You may speak with your neighbours about your concerns and help them get familiar with your property by-laws. Your owners corporation can put up signages and notices and identify smoking zones in other areas on common property. If your by-laws are unclear on the matter, you can file a motion on the agenda of the next general meeting and discuss the options of amending the by-laws to specify smoking related clauses. If there are no by-laws as such, your owners corporation can adopt a model by-law and outline smoking related clauses suiting your property.