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New Owners Corporation rules help people suffering from smoke penetration

Posted 30 Nov, 2021

Quit Victoria is welcoming a new “model rule” on smoke drift for Owners Corporation Legislation which comes into effect today, Wednesday 1 Dec 2021. 

Quit Victoria Director Dr Sarah White says that Quit is contacted frequently by people distressed by second-hand smoke penetrating into their homes.

“Quit has, for several years now, been advocating for a change to the Owners Corporation Model Rules to give people recourse to smoke penetration from adjoining dwellings, “she said. 

“In a nutshell the new rules mean a lot owner or occupier in a multi-level development must ensure that smoke caused by the smoking of tobacco or any other substance by the owner or occupier, or any invitee of the owner or occupier, on the lot does not penetrate to the common property or any other lot,” said Dr White.

Dr White noted that the law change does not protect people in single-level dwellings or public housing settings who are continually being challenged by smoke penetration from neighbours. “We recognise the need to continue to advocate for the right of all people to be able to enjoy smoke free homes and not have to worry about the smell or the impact on their health. However, this is a really big step forward in Victoria.”

The Outcome of Consultation and Owners Corporations Amendment Regulations 2021

Model rule 1.4: Smoke drift in multi-level developments Many stakeholders supported extending this rule to single-level developments. However, the Owners Corporation (OC) and Other Acts Amendment Act 2021 limits the power to make rules relating to smoke drift to multi-level developments. 

The model rule is required to reflect this limit and accordingly has not been expanded to cover single level developments, such as townhouses. 

However, the feedback from stakeholders has been accepted and an amendment to the power to make rules relating to smoke drift will be considered as part of the post-implementation review of the OC Amendment Act 2021. Stakeholders also suggested expanding this rule to cover second-hand e-cigarette aerosol. However, it is our view that the rule is broad enough to capture both tobacco smoke and e-cigarette smoke.

For more quitting advice, visit or call the Quitline on 13 7848 between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday. Quitline is a culturally inclusive telephone service for all, including the LGBTIQ+ community. Aboriginal Quitline counsellors are also available.

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