E-Cigs and Renters

E-cigarettes are all the rage. They come in all flavors, shapes and sizes, and have become popular not only with those who are wanting to quit smoking (via a “step-down” process) but also with a whole new segment of people who’ve never smoked in the first place. Many see the e-cig as a harmless replacement for the traditional cigarette.

While they don’t contain tar, e-cigs definitely contain nicotine, so they aren’t harmless. The goal for those trying to stop smoking traditional cigarettes is to decrease the amount of nicotine in the refillable/replaceable cartridge used.

I’m not here to discuss the pros and cons of the e-cig, but what about landlords who don’t allow smoking in their single-family homes? Should that include e-cigarettes? Hmmmm….

Here’s my thought: it’s the tar in traditional cigarettes that causes the nasty yellow film that sticks itself to every wall and other surface in the home. Believe me, I know too much about that. I allow my tenants to smoke inside, although I encourage them to step outside to do so. Most aren’t super-heavy smokers and it’s not labor intensive when they move out. But with a heavy smoker who’s been with you a while, you’ll need to wash down the walls. Ick!

So, I’d welcome the e-cigs over regular cigarettes, of course. No tar, no nasty yellow film. But if you’ve not allowed smoking inside, and you own a large complex, do you allow the e-cigarettes? Here are my thoughts on that:

  1. If you have a non-smoking apartment complex, that’s part of your marketing strategy. If potential applicants see tenants smoking (“vaping”) the e-cigs, public perception may change, thus hurting your occupancy.
  2. From a distance, it’s difficult to distinguish the two. The e-cig “vapor” can be mistaken for smoke. Do you really want to try and police that? Will other tenants see someone with an e-cig, think it’s real and cause a ruckus? Again, perception becomes an issue here.

It’s a tough call. With my small units (single to four units in a building) I’m okay with it. If I had a non-smoking apartment complex, I’d keep it that way. Cigarettes? No. E-cigarettes? No. Candy cigarettes? Maybe …. LOL




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