Should landlords allow vaping in their rental property?
In this ever-changing world more and more people see the damage by smoking however there is a grey area in relation to the question of should landlords allow vaping inside the property and this can only be decided by you the Landlord.
We are aware of the damage and smells caused to the interior of a home by smoking but there are still a vast amount of smokers out there and having an open mind to this will certainly open a landlord up to the maximum number of prospective tenants.
At present there are no restrictions or laws to stop vaping.
The landlord can place within the body of the tenancy agreement a clause to say that vaping is strictly forbidden and most tenants will abide by this, however, the landlord cannot be present in the property 24/7 to make sure that vaping does not take place.
If the tenants are in breach of this clause in the tenancy agreement then how would it be proved? If it is proved would a judge really grant an eviction to a tenant for having the odd cigarette I doubt it.
Another thing to consider is the cost to take the tenant to court, instructing solicitors, paying their fees and the time and money the landlord will have to forego to get to court. If a tenant is being taken to court then it is more than likely that the rent may not be paid and this may lead to other costs that the landlord has lost.
There are pros and cons against vaping, however, it’s ultimately your decision, I will list some of the pros and cons of vaping.
No cigarette butts in the garden both front and rear, ultimately the tenants have to maintain the gardens, so allowing vaping does eliminate the mess and smell of cigarette butts on floors.
Most vapes according to research do not leave smells like nicotine, or tobacco smells so the home may well be free from any nasty smells. There is no risk of fire, research shows that smoking is the single biggest killer causing 36% of all house fires, in the UK.
Vaping whilst there is no tobacco or nicotine smells can leave some smells, this is due to the oily substance that they omit, in turn, this can leave an oily residue that can create areas of dust and grease, vaping also discharges larger amounts of smoke so this could discolour walls and ceilings and possibly carpets, thus meaning that the landlord’s property will ultimately need redecorating once the tenant’s contract has finished..
Vaping In Communal Hallways
Landlords who own properties where there are communal hallways must adhere to legislation that was introduced on the 1st July 2007 and this now makes it illegal to smoke in all public enclosed areas and workplaces.
You must make sure by law that there are sufficient no smoking signs displayed at all times. This is part of the National Smoke Free Legislation. The signs need to be checked on a regular basis by you or your lettings agent as the Council can impose heavy fines if the regulations are not adhered to.
So what can the landlord do?
You may want to increase the rent slightly just to cover any redecoration costs. You may also want to be a little understanding and allow them to smoke, however, try to have a nice conversation with the tenants and explain to them that if they have to vape then please try and vape outside not within the property.
Make sure that you or your agent has carried out a full inventory at the beginning and the end of the tenancy agreement together with clear concise photographs as evidence. This should be carried out irrespectively but you will be able to identify any damages that may have arisen whilst your tenants are in occupation.