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Absolute smoking bans a recipe for disaster

Building developers pushing for selective by-laws in Queensland apartment buildings and strata communities that limit who can live there or what they can do in their own homes, are causing issues for apartment owners and body corporate managers further down the track.

Queensland strata experts believe specific by-laws in apartment buildings and strata communities, including absolute smoking bans, can be a recipe for disaster. James Freestun, president of Strata Community Australia recognises the appeal of targeting niche markets with selective by-laws, however he believes the consequences rarely make it a viable decision.

“These developers bring in very specific by-laws, to create a particular type of community. However, if the by-laws are considered discriminatory in any way, they are likely to be contested by residents and over-turned. If the by-laws are overturned, they will need to be officially changed. So it all ends up being an expensive and, essentially wasteful, process.”

Mr Freestun said banning smoking in apartment buildings is a ‘popular’ by-law, that could be seen as discriminatory.

“It’s difficult to tell someone not to do something in their own home, if what they’re doing is legal. So, while this kind of by-law has its benefits in theory, it doesn’t have the legs to last, and it will eventually be costing owners and body corporate managers time and money.”

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