Cigarette smoke is drifting into my apartment from the balcony above. I have approached the owners but they refuse to stop. What can I do under the strata law?

Maree, NSW

There are a number of options regarding the banning of smoke penetrating any other lot or common property in your building. If you have a by-law or model rule in place, you will be able to enforce it with the relevant notice to comply. If you don’t have a by-law or model rule in place, you can still apply for mediation/conciliation through the relevant state consumer authority or apply to the Tribunal for assistance.  For NSW, more information on this topic can be found under the Nuisance section of the Act 5.153 (1): see note about smoke penetration.

Someone in my building is making a lot of noise at night. What can I do?

Simon, QLD

You should always try to resolve the problem yourself first. However, if you don’t notice any change, or feel intimidated, you can escalate the issue two ways: 1. Ask your owners corporation/body corporate to issue them with the relevant notice to comply, then seek a fine if they continue to make noise; or, 2. Apply for mediation/conciliation through Fair Trading in NSW, Body Corporate and Community Management in Queensland, or Consumer Affairs in Victoria.