10 Jan 2013
January 10, 2013

Non-Smoking Condominiums?

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The restrictions put in place by Alberta’s provincial and municipal governments in recent years has made it illegal to smoke inside public establishments, or even within 5 meters outside of such a building (in Edmonton). This seems to be a continuing trend with very little opposition from public opinion.

With the apparent acceptance of these laws by smokers, is it so unthinkable to implement a smoking ban in private homes or cars? Alberta’s Premier, Allison Redford, has recently set forth plans to ban smoking in private cars when children are present, following the lead of other provinces and territories. What’s the next step?

A smoking ban in detached private homes may not be seen anytime soon, however, non-smoking by-laws have already been implemented by condominium corporations throughout Canada. Such by-laws vary in nature from banning smoking in common areas, to balconies/patios only, and as far as a having a completely smoke-free condominium complex. Enforcing these by-laws may be difficult due to the lack of precedence and case law in our courts, however the idea is gaining judicial momentum nationally.

An example of this, is a condominium corporation in Victoria, The Mosaic, that did not change their by-laws and decided to battle second-hand smoke through a nuisance clause in their current by-laws. This has been proven effective multiple times as they have been able to show that a owner who smokes is interfering with the lifestyle of a non-smoking owner when she/he expected when joining the condominium corporation.

Pivotal is able to advise all of the condominium corporations that it manages of the direction in which a Board needs to take, in order to implement a non-smoking policy. There are several very important factors that a Board must consider before making such a major change to its by-laws, which should be carefully explained by your property management company.

Please contact Pivotal directly if your Board needs help making any type of changes to your by-laws.