When is smoking/smoke not permitted in a sectional title scheme?

The short answer is that it depends on the scheme rules.

Smoking laws in South Africa prohibit smoking in public areas but is the common property of a private scheme a public area in terms of this law? – it is a grey area.

The STSM Act, PMR and PCR do not deal directly with smoke or smoking – this includes cigarette smoke, cannabis smoke, or even smoke from a braai.

What we do find in the STSM Act and the Prescribed rules is that an owner or occupier cannot be a nuisance to another occupier and cannot interfere with the use and enjoyment of the common property or a section by another occupier.

Section 13 (1) An owner must— 

              (d) use and enjoy the common property in such a manner as not to interfere unreasonably with the use and enjoyment thereof by other owners or other persons lawfully on the premises;

  (e)not use his or her section or exclusive use area, or permit it to be used, in a manner or for a purpose which may cause a nuisance to any occupier of a  section; 

PMR 30

  1. The body corporate must take all reasonable steps to ensure that a member or any other occupier of a section or exclusive use area does not—
  • use the common property so as to unreasonably interfere with other persons lawfully on the premises, in breach of section 13(1)(d) of the Act;
  • do anything to a section or exclusive use area that has a material negative affect on the value or utility of any other section or exclusive use area;

It is possible to make specific Conduct rules for the scheme to manage smoke and smoking in the scheme.