Annoying Strata Issues – Drifting Smoke And Abandoned Goods

21 November 17

I have had a couple of Building Managers ask me recently about what is the current law in NSW relating to smoking on balconies and goods that have been abandoned on common property.

Nuisance Smoking

The model by-laws provide Owners Corporations with options to deal with nuisance smoking drifting to neighbors’ lots and common areas. Owners Corporations can now pass a by-law to ban smoking on the common property and require an owner or occupier to ensure that second-hand smoke does not enter other lots or the common property.


Alternatively, Owners Corporations can pass a by-law to designate smoking areas within the common property.
An Owners Corporation may also choose to adopt a variation of these model by-laws as their own, or may choose not to have a specific by-law restricting smoking.

Abandoned Goods

An Owners Corporation may dispose of goods (other than vehicles) left on the common property if a “disposal notice” has been left on or near the goods to be disposed of. A disposal notice is not needed if the items are perishable goods (such as food) or consist only of rubbish.


A disposal notice (at least A4 size, and resistant to weather), containing certain information must be placed on or near the goods before any items can be removed. The written notice must include:

  • a description of the goods;
  • the date and time the notice was issued;
  • the date and time the goods will be moved from the common property if the goods are not moved or collected (not earlier than 5 days after the notice was placed on or near the goods);
  • contact details of a member of the Strata Committee, the strata managing agent, or a nominee of the Owners Corporation that can be contacted if necessary.

An Owners Corporation can move goods which are obstructing common property to another area of the common property before placing the disposal notice on or near the goods. Care should be taken not to damage the goods in doing so. No notice is required before moving the goods in this circumstance.


An Owners Corporation can dispose of goods by selling them or in any other lawful manner. The proceeds of any sale must be paid into the administrative fund of the Owners Corporation.


Anyone who purchases the goods receives a title to the goods, freed and discharged of any interest of any person who would otherwise have an interest in them.


A written record of the goods sold must be kept for at least 12 months. The person who owned the goods originally may apply to the Tribunal to seek to be paid the funds.


Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation
Disclaimer – This article is provided for information purposes only and should not be regarded as legal advice.

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