COST OF SMOKING: B.C. woman keeps puffing and paying strata fines | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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COST OF SMOKING: B.C. woman keeps puffing and paying strata fines

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A B.C. woman who paid the fines and continued smoking in her non-smoking strata unit may finally have to stub out her habit.

According to a March 22 B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal decision, the downtown Vancouver strata had repeatedly fined Leslie Grauer for smoking in her townhouse.

The decision says the strata received dozens of complaints about Grauer smoking in her $1.5 million townhouse dating back to 2014, and had issued umpteen warning notices along with multiple fines.

However, Grauer simply paid the $200 fines and continued smoking. The strata accused Grauer of "essentially paying for her right to smoke."

READ MORE: Kamloops strata loses fight with tenant smoking on balcony: court

According to the decision, Grauer didn't deny smoking and only said the bylaw is too "restrictive" and she doubted her neighbours were affected.

Grauer said she'd "fixed walls" and added a fan and didn't dispute she continued to smoke contrary to the building's bylaw.

The decision didn't say how many times Grauer was fined $200, only that she'd been fined multiple times from 2018 to 2021 and the cost was "substantial."

The strata introduced its no smoking bylaw in 2018 from its previous bylaw that said a strata owner couldn't cause a "nuisance or hazard" to another person.

The bylaw stated strata owners couldn't smoke inside or outside of their units.

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It toughened the language again in 2020 to say the entire complex was a "designated non-smoking strata corporation."

However, Grauer continued to smoke.

Unsurprising, as Grauer had provided no evidence to say she wasn't smoking, the Tribunal ordered she stop smoking immediately.

However, the Tribunal points out its order can only be enforced through the B.C. Supreme Court, giving Grauer a small window to keep smoking and keep paying the fines, before the strata will no doubt file the order in the higher court.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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