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by Ben Luxon April 14, 2019 4 min read

Anyone that vapes are going to tell you that vaping is cleaner and odorless when compared to cigarettes. If you’ve ever sat in a room full of smokers and compared that to a room full of people vaping, you might be inclined to agree. Which, with around 15% of adults under 40 vaping, might persuade you to allow the use of e-cigarettes inside your property to help attract more tenants.

However, just like cigarettes, e-cigarettes release emissions that can leave behind residue which will build up on the walls, ceilings, and soft furnishings over time. So, it is worth seriously considering the extra time and expense of cleaning up if you do allow vaping in your rental property.

Before you make a decision on whether or not to allow e-cigarettes you should get all the facts straight, so you can make an informed decision.

A Comparison: Cigarettes vs. E-Cigarettes

should you allow vaping in our rental

  • Nicotine

Nicotine emissions can form a rather gross discoloration which clings to everything from wallpaper to furniture. You’ll find it’s highly evident when if you enter a heavy smoker's home especially on white walls or ceilings, which quickly take on a brownish-grey hue and are a nightmare to clean. When it comes to this nicotine stain, cigarette smoke is by far a worse culprit, however, e-cigarette vapor does also contains nicotine (though a fractional amount). On top of that, the oils in the vapor can build up on surfaces and in fabrics creating a sticky oily residue that attracts dirt and is hard to clean.
    • Smell

    When you walk into a smoker's home, one of the first things you notice is the stale stench of old smoke that clings to everything; carpets, furniture, and even clothing. This aroma is hard to nigh on impossible to remove. Thankfully for e-cigarette users, they do not impart in any way the same kind of clingy scent that cigarette smoke leaves behind but that does not mean the vapors are entirely odorless.
    • Harmful Chemicals

    Everyone is aware that smoking is bad, the list of harmful chemicals and toxins that you get from smoking tobacco is a horrifyingly long one. When it comes to e-cigarettes, whilst research is inconclusive it is suggested that “the emissions from e-cigarettes without propylene glycol were almost 100-fold lower than those from traditional cigarettes”. This isn’t to say that e-cigarette emissions are harmless, just less harmful than tobacco.
    • Cleaning

    Cleaning up after a smoker means getting rid of nicotine stains and that recognizable scent that lingers fervently in fabrics. This entails everything from steam cleaning carpets and curtains, to repainting walls and ceilings. Cleaning up after vaping means getting rid of that oily, sticky residue.

    This is especially difficult when it comes to non-porous surfaces where the residue can become deeply ingrained. Regardless, whether you’ve had vapers or smokers in your property, all surfaces will be harder to clean compared to a nonsmokers unit.

    The Law

    The laws regulating e-cigarettes, much like those regulating tobacco smoking in rental properties vary greatly from region to region, and state to state. In New York, for example, the New York City Smoke-Free Air Act of 2002 prohibits smoking of both cigarettes and e-cigarettes in common areas in residential buildings with ten or more units, and landlords have every right to refuse tenancy to smokers and ban the smoking of e-cigarettes in their properties. The same is not true though in Minneapolis which does not regard vaping in the same light as smoking at all. Read up on your state laws here.

    Smoking vs. Vaping in rentals

    Fire Hazards

    The final thing to consider when it comes to deciding whether or not to allow vaping in your rental property is the fire hazard. Vaping, for obvious reasons, isn’t as likely to cause a fire as having a lit cigarette about your person. However, the danger is still there.

    There were 195 vaping-related fires or explosions reported in the United States between 2008 and 2016. The causes are largely due to faulty lithium-ion batteries, some of which exploded whilst in a person’s pocket, others when they were charging. Considering a large number of people that vape across the United States this figure is pretty low, but it’s not zero, and that is worth taking note of.

    Hopefully, this article has informed you of the potential issues that e-cigarettes can cause and helped you make a decision. Whether or not you decide to allow vaping or smoking in your property is up to you, though. Whatever you decide, make sure that your tenants are well aware of your policies beforehand. And if you do decide against e-cigarettes, make sure tenants are aware before they move in that they are responsible for any damages and expenses caused by e-cigarettes or tobacco smoke. This will help you protect your property from careless tenants.

    Do you let vapers in your rental? Were there any pros and cons that you would like to share with our Landlord Boss community? Leave a comment below - we would love to hear from you!

    Ben Luxon

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