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Should Strata’s have the Right to Ban Smoking in B.C. Multi-Unit Housing?

More and more strata’s are banning the practice of smoking in properties in B.C.  Strata corporations can include the strata lot as well as the common and limited common property.

Some B.C. residents have taken the fight for their right to smoke inside their homes to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, but health advocates want the province to adopt laws that would ban smoking in multi-unit housing.

Clean Air Coalition of B.C, argues that since the majority of people can no longer afford single family homes, the 62% of Vancouver-area residents living in multi-unit housing deserve more protection from second-hand smoke.

Clean Air Coalition of B.C, says it would like to see the following changes made to legislation that would:

  • Require landlords & strata corporations to disclose the smoking status of the building and location of smoking units to prospective tenants and buyers
  • Amend the Residential Tenancy Act so that landlords can make their buildings completely smoke-free without written consent of tenants
  • Make all B.C. Housing properties smoke-free
  • Change the Strata Property Act so that all new developments are non-smoking by default
  • Offer incentives to developers to designate new buildings as smoke-free

Currently, three buildings managed by B.C. Housing have already gone smoke-free, but the regulations only apply to new tenants. The province allows non-profit housing operators to decide on their own policies.

The Ministry of Health’s spokeswoman Kristy Anderson wrote in an email that while B.C. is committed to cutting out tobacco use and has enacted many laws regarding smoking in public, “the provincial government does not regulate smoking inside a person’s home and does not anticipate a ban on smoking in an individual’s private home.”

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