In a win for mixed use strata schemes, the NSW Government’s amendments to the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 (NSW) mean that smoking is now banned:
- In all commercial outdoor eating areas; and
- Within a place that is within 4 metres of a pedestrian access point to a building …[being] a licenced premises or a restaurant.
What this means is that the law banning smoking within 4 metres of a public building has been extended to buildings that contain a restaurant or a venue with a liquor license. It also means that if, like many mixed use strata schemes, your scheme has a commercial lot that uses their outdoor space or the common property for outdoor seating areas for its customers to consume food or drinks that smoking is banned in these areas also.
For some mixed use schemes, smoke drift from visitors to the scheme eating or drinking in outdoor areas or lingering at the entrance to a bar has caused significant discomfort (and potentially nuisance) to lot owners and occupiers living directly above these areas. Now, councils will have the ability to police these areas using on the spot fines. This helps owners corporations in that it takes away the ‘us v them’ attitude that is often found between commercial and residential lot owners and hopefully it will reduce tension between the two.
The owners corporation remains responsible for enforcing its by-laws and the legislative changes should be seen as complementing and supporting an owners corporation’s ability to do so.
If you have any concerns about smoking in your strata scheme please contact Allison Benson of our office. For more information on smoking in strata schemes you may want to read: https://allisonbensonau.com/2014/08/15/no-smoking-please-preventing-smoking-in-your-strata-scheme/