What are our rights to stop smoke drift? – Marc, VIC

My neighbour smokes and the smoke wafts all through our house. I have a young daughter and I don’t want her or I exposed to this. We are forced to keep our windows and doors shut. What are our rights to stop smoke drift? Apart from the smoke she’s a great neighbour.

–  Marc, VIC

Stopping smoke drift coming from private property can be hard to rule against, as lot owners are entitled to smoke in the confines of their own property.

At the moment, Victorian laws only allow owners corporations to make rules that completely ban smoking in common areas such as shared courtyards, corridors, stairways, lifts, etc.

However, we would recommend that you talk to your neighbour and express your concern directly. You committee can help you by strengthening the building rules related to smoking on common property and put up notices to mark common areas where smoking is prohibited. If your building rules do not adequately cover smoking related matters, you may seek to have them amended through special resolution in an AGM.

More information on rules and the myths of smoking bans can be read here.