I own an apartment in Sydney. Our neighbours smoke right next to our main bedroom and of course the smell wafts in. We can never leave the windows open because of that. Strata has sent 2 letters in regards to the smoke situation but there’s been no improvement. What can strata do at this point? Can I get strata to install non smoking signs in all the entrances of the building? – Michael, NSW

It depends on where your neighbours are standing while they smoke – are they doing this within the premises of their own property such as their own balcony or are they on the common property?

There’s not much the strata committee or owners corporation can do to what people choose to do within their property. However, if your neighbours are breaching any property by-laws or smoking on common property where others around them can be affected, the strata committee can intervene to sort the matter. They can put up notices, signs and warnings in public and common areas. If letters have already been sent in breach of the by-laws, then the best thing to do is to put in an application for mediation in your next committee meeting as the first step.

Talk to your strata manager and ask them to put a motion for mediation in the next committee meeting agenda and take it up on your behalf.