My tenant wants to vape in my flat – should I allow it?


I don’t allow smoking in my property, but my prospective tenant smokes an e-cigarette - vaping I think they called it? I’m not sure whether I should I allow it or not?


Over 2.3million adults already ‘vape’, and with many people making a new year’s resolution to kick the habit, it’s likely that there’ll be more and more people taking up e-cigarettes, or vaping as an alternative - this could be a question faced by many landlords.

Most rental property are non-smoking – only 7% of landlords are open to letting their tenants light up - and it is understandable why landlords make this decision. After all, along with the potential damage caused by cigarette burns and smoke, there’s also the lingering smell to contend with.

However, despite the visual similarities, many experts and vaping fans claim that is where the similarities between traditional smoking and vaping ends. Whereas a cigarette, cigar or pipe requires a flame to burn to be smoked, an e-cigarette is powered by a rechargeable battery, and uses liquid nicotine to produce a mist, or ‘vapor’ which is then inhaled. Although vaping produces a cloud of vapor once dispersed this leaves no trace, unlike smoking.

Choosing whether to allow your tenants to vape is a personal choice, however, unlike smoking it is likely to be very tricky to detect if they are doing so in your property unless they admit to it in the first place. If your tenant is honest and open about their vaping habit, you could choose to include a banning clause in the tenancy agreement– although this is likely to be near impossible to enforce should you have reason to believe they were still vaping despite your request for them not to. Alternatively, you could allow vaping, but refer to the ‘no smoking’ clause in the tenancy agreement, and reiterate that vaping is ok, but smoking is not. However, this is a personal choice, entirely at your discretion.

But what about if you are looking after more than one tenant?

This might change the situation slightly. Certainly, with regards to traditional smoking, research has revealed that 44% of flatmates would not want to share with a smoker, but what about a vaper? Whilst a different kettle of fish to smoking, if you manage a property containing smokers, non-smokers and vapers, if the smokers are not allowed to pursue their preferred habit they may take offence at seeing someone puffing away on an e-cigarette, and the non-smokers may not be sure of the difference. You run the risk of upsetting a number of your tenants, whilst only pleasing one. In this instance, it might be better to ask your vaping tenant to abstain from vaping in the property, or only partake in their own space, keeping common areas ‘vape free’.

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