Smoking Owner Keeps Breaking the Bylaws …
… is the headline for a ‘Condo Questions’ column in yesterday’s Calgary Herald (Page D2, April 22, 2023). The essence of the article is that an owner continues to disregard the bylaws and court orders, to the extent of contempt of court – and what are the next steps for the corporation to take?
What the article doesn’t discuss is the degree to which the owner may be addicted to tobacco. It is not easy to break the addiction; my father, a professional chest physician, tried to quit – unsuccessfully. He started smoking (I believe) before or during WWII when he was treating seriously injured patients in the stresses of war-torn London UK. The impact was considerable – I believe his death at 79 may have been hastened by smoking.
The lessons for condominiums have to be:
- Make sure potential owners are aware of a ban on smoking (if there is one) before they commit to a purchase;
- If the ban on smoking is introduced after purchase, perhaps when the bylaws are re-written to include such a ban, that provision is made to ‘grandfather’ existing smokers (not their units!) as ‘permitted’.
- Provide an outdoor isolated space on the common property where smoking is permitted – and (if possible) supply ashtrays, chairs and a table to accommodate smokers.
- Another action to help smokers to quit (if the ban is introduced after the owners are already in the condominium) would be to introduce self-help or other assistance to quit smoking.
An advantage to a condominium corporation may be to reduce insurance premiums if a source of fire and smoke damage is eliminated or reduced.
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