Have you discovered the new trend in town where an electronic device called an e-cigarette replaces the traditional tobacco-filled cigarette? It is called vaping. It comes with a tiny built-in battery and nicotine in liquid format.
This nicotine juice mixes with other components to produce delightful flavors, such as exotic sodas. When you suck on the pipe like a normal cigarette, the liquid heats up to produce a vapor you inhale. That is where the name vaping comes from.
The vaping market is expected to grow rapidly. Over a third of American smokers have already switched to vaping and the numbers are growing fast. As a property owner, how will you handle vaping in your non-smoking rental?
Consider the things below when adjusting your policies to get ahead of the shifting developments.
In vaping, you are not directly burning tobacco and you are not inhaling the resultant toxin-filled smoke. Moreover, vaping produces a lesser volume of less harmful chemicals. It is thus considered a safer alternative.
But that’s where the direct comparison ends. The additives added to the liquid nicotine likely increase the toxicity of the puff. Furthermore, the regulatory framework for such chemicals is currently playing catch-up with the producers.
Although vaping may not do as much harm to your property as smoking does, it might result in light build-up over time. As a result, tenants who vape frequently are more likely to want more thorough cleaning.
If you are renting out your property completely furnished, vaping may become a bigger issue. Furniture with soft furnishings, in particular, is more prone to buildup. However, if your building has wooden floors rather than rugs, vaping may well be less of an issue because these can be wiped out more quickly.
It is your responsibility as a landlord to provide livable spaces to your tenants. A tenant has a reasonable expectation of being able to enjoy ‘peace and quiet in their rental space.
Non-smoking tenants might consider vaping residue and second-hand vaping smoke unhealthy. This leaves you open to legal claims where tenants can demand habitable rentals. So, have a clear policy to avoid disputes with clients.
How do you deal with excessive noise and rowdy neighbors? Treat vaping in the same manner.
Vaping vs. Smoking Regulations
Smoking regulations cover indoor working spaces. They do not apply to the act of vaping in private indoor spaces. But, just like in many other jurisdictions, vaping is way ahead of the regulations. The landlord is in charge of adopting a working policy for the rentals.
As a landlord, you should stay ahead of the vaping trends even before regulations catch up. Leaving the issue open could lead to property damage and expensive remodeling costs.
Your client base might become smaller as fewer non-smokers will be interested in your property. Also, allowing vaping in your rentals might encourage normal smokers to light up on the property.
So, clear up the air by having applicable lease agreements with strong guidelines on vaping. This works to encourage your target market, avoid costly disputes, and ensure value from your property.