You may or may not allow smoking in your rental properties, but what about vaping with e-cigarettes?
Almost 1 in 20 US adults vape, so it’s a valid question to ask, because many current and future tenants likely use e-cigarettes.
While many rental properties won’t allow smoking (and in many cases it depends on the state laws), vaping isn’t always as straightforward.
The simple answer: It depends on what you want and whether there are any laws in the locality prohibiting vaping in a rental property.
The problem is that people are torn on the matter. For example, the owner wants to protect other tenants from smoke, but many vape smokers don’t think the vape smoke can hurt anyone else.
Still, the landlord has the right to prohibit tobacco smoke of any kind. Not only that, but the smell of vape smoke could be unpleasant to other residents, and the steam might contain chemicals that can leave residue, causing stains to materials in the home, or harm to other people.
Cleaning up vapor residue can be a strenuous process and requires work on the tenant’s part because the carpets and other fabrics will need deep cleaning to remove the residue. That could mean more money during the cleaning process for the landlord. However, if it’s stated that the tenant isn’t allowed to vape in the apartment, then the tenant is liable and could also be breaking the lease agreement.
Still, if vape smoke causes damage in any way, then that will either cost the tenant or landlord more money during the cleaning/move-out process. If you decide to allow vaping, then you might include or mention an extra cleaning charge in the lease agreement as a result. This can protect you from other charges as well as state these charges to the tenants and hold them liable. Ensuring everyone is on the same page and making things as clear as possible is key.
Depending on how big the complex is and local laws, you might even be able to offer a designated smoking spot, but that’s entirely up to you, and you have to abide by the local laws.
Another reason you might prohibit vaping is because it can be a fire hazard.
A counter argument is that vape smoke is odorless, and it’s also difficult to detect.
Whatever the case, it’s still not clear how harmful second-hand vape smoke is, although there’s evidence stating it’s harmful. This is why it’s a good idea for landlords to ban vaping in rental properties. To be transparent, these types of rules can be stated somewhere in the rental application or landlords can ask whether the future tenant is a smoker.
You always want to be upfront with your tenants and make sure there aren’t any gray areas. Not only that, but you want to have reliable tenants, and one way to secure desirable tenants is during the application process. As an example, if you don’t want people to smoke in your rental properties, then it needs to be stated clearly. You can also run a comprehensive tenant screening to weed out undesirable tenants from desirable ones based on your target audience and what you’re looking for in a tenant.
No matter where you stand on this issue, the main thing to keep in mind is state laws. If your state prohibits smoking in any form, then it needs to be stated clearly that vaping isn’t allowed in your rental properties. This should be closely monitored while more research is done on vaping and whether or not laws and regulations are created surrounding it.
Above all else, the choice ultimately is yours.
To read more on topics like this, check out the lifestyle category.