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




Removing Cigarette Stains from Sinks









Here’s a sample of what I run into when a tenant moves out of one of my places. Not everyone is a smoker, of course, and most people won’t put a lit cigarette on the edge of the bathroom sink. But when they do, this is what I’m left with … a nasty stain, or several nasty stains. Ugh! For years, I tried all sorts of products to remove these brown marks scattered around the edges of my sinks, to no avail.

Then, one of my contractors, who’d been employed by an large apartment complex for a few years, gave me a wonderful piece of advice … “Go get some plumber’s screen!” I didn’t even know what that was, but Bill told me I’d find it at any hardware store, so off I went.

It comes in smallish sheets — I bought a 12″ square piece, which will last me several years — and it’s very inexpensive.

I cut off a small piece of it and simply rubbed the stain out. Voila! The sink looks nearly new. If the light catches it just right, that area has a little less shine than the rest of the sink but it’s not really noticeable.

A quick, easy fix for an annoying problem! Get some plumber’s screen today … I plan on using it for other tough stains/cleaning challenges in the future!