Smoke-Free Living under Bylaws

Introduction:  Dynamic Property Management works with over 30 strata properties, and it is not uncommon for multiple Strata Councils to report a common issue and ask for assistance in dealing with it.  This is the case with increasing complaints from owners about second-hand smoke.

Dynamic Property Management hopes to bring strata owners information that is current and topical to assist with good management of each property.  As there is a now new option available to strata corporations to deal with second-hand smoke, we are providing some information below about the issue, and a possible solution.  After reading this you have the option to take a very brief online survey (2-3 minutes).  This is an easy way to let your Strata Council know where you stand on the issue.

Remember when you couldn’t go to a restaurant without having cigarette smoke as a side dish to your meal?  People were allowed to smoke at their workplace, and in public areas inside and out.  Those days are gone.  The Tobacco Act, passed in 1997 “…aims to protect the health of Canadians in light of conclusive evidence implicating tobacco use in the incidence of numerous debilitating and fatal diseases…”.

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/tobac-tabac/legislation/federal/tobac-tabac-eng.php

As a result of this Act, and due to ongoing research on the adverse health effects of second-hand smoke, Canadians are now protected at work and in public areas, but less so in their own homes if they live in a multi-unit building.  But, the times are continuing to change.  It is legal to pass a bylaw that prohibits smoking anywhere on a strata property, including inside individual units.

Squamish currently has three downtown properties (Studio SQ, Squamish Pointe and The Artisan) that have a Non-Smoking Bylaw.  It is intended to protect all residents from second-hand smoke which is implicated in health issues such as:  heart disease, lung cancer, emphysema, asthma and chest infections.  It will also lower the risk of fire, as smoking is the number one cause of residential fires.  These three properties decided that the bylaw was a reasonable step to take, given that only 15% of British Columbians now smoke.  Furthermore, the smoking rate for those residing in multi-unit buildings is only 9%.   Studies have shown that about one-third of residents in multi-unit buildings are exposed to second-hand smoke inside their unit (from balconies and adjacent units) and that this smoke cannot be removed with added ventilation or air purification.  So, about 1 in 10 residents choose to smoke, but an average of 1 in 3 are exposed to the effects.

The shift to smoke-free living is already happening, and the market value of non-smoking properties will increase as it does so.  A new page has been added to our website to provide owners with more detailed information.  The link is entitled “Smoke-Free Living Squamish”.  It includes an online survey which will take less than 3 minutes to complete and does not require any personal identification.  You may complete the survey up to September 15th.  Your property manager will collect responses and report back to the Strata Council with survey results.  If owners have shown an interest, the Strata Council may communicate further with owners regarding their opinion on a bylaw for smoke-free living.

We look forward to hearing from you with comments or concerns and encourage you to take the survey.

To go to our website for more information:

http://www.dynamicpropertymanagement.ca/smoke-free-living-in-squamish.html

To go directly to the survey, please use this link:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MMSJT7D

The Role of the Strata Manager

As most owners and tenants often communicate with the strata manager directly, they sometimes believe that the strata manager is “in charge” of the strata corporation and is able to act solely on their instruction and/or requests.  This is incorrect. The Strata Property Act, which is the legislation that governs the operation of a strata… Continue Reading

Preventing Frozen Pipes

When the temperature and/or wind chill drops below zero the water pipes located in side of your strata lot may freeze.  Owners should prepare by; • Disconnecting garden hoses and if possible shut off and drain the water to the outside pipes • Keep your thermostat in your unit no lower than 12°C • If… Continue Reading

Duties of the Strata Corporation

There is always confusion over what is the strata corporations responsibility and what is the strata lot owners, tenants or occupants responsibility.  The Strata Property Act requires that every strata corporation carry out 5 fundamental duties.  These duties are: Duty to Manage – The strata corporation must manage the common property and common assets of… Continue Reading