What can I do if neighbours smoke on their balcony and it drifts into my house? – Marie, NSW

You may wish to find out where they are when they’re smoking. If your neighbours are smoking on their own private balcony, it’s hard to restrict them from smoking as all owners have a right to enjoy their property in their own way. If they’re doing so on common property or shared areas, you may approach the owners corporation to mediate matters or put up signs to restrict smoking.

If an open conversation with your neighbour is not helping, you may take the help of your owners corporation to mediate matters or make the by-laws accessible to all residents.

Your by-laws would ideally have the necessary guidelines and restrictions regarding smoking on common property. If these matters are not clearly outlined, your owners corporation can amend the by-laws. They can also choose to adopt model by-laws on smoking related matters and modify them to specifically suit your property type and its owners and residents. The new by-laws can be formalised in your next AGM by passing a special resolution and registering them with the state.

If your neighbours continue to breach them even after multiple notices of breach sent by your owners corporation, they can then be penalised or fined. You may find this article interesting.