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Should I Allow Vaping in My Rental Property?
As vaping becomes more popular in New Zealand it’s likely you’ll encounter tenants who wish to vape in your property. Should you allow it, and what risks does it pose if you do?
What Damage Does Vaping do to Rental Properties?
Vaping, or the use of e-cigarettes, is considered to be a healthier alternative to smoking, but it does come with its own risks. Although vaping will not cause as much damage as smoking to your property, over time vaping can result in an oily build-up on the walls, floors and surfaces. This build-up can provide a home for dust and dirt and properties that are let to tenants who vape heavily are likely to need more regular cleaning.
Vaping will be of a higher concern if you are renting your property fully furnished as soft furnishings especially may be affected and the property may be left with a residual smell. If your property boasts hard floors rather than carpets vaping may pose less of a problem as these can be more easily cleaned. However, consider the effect on rugs, sofas, beds and curtains.
Vaping also adds moisture to the air and for heavy users this could potentially affect electronics in the home. Soft furnishings such as curtains may also suffer from a build-up of moisture.
Can I Ban My Tenants From Vaping?
Just as you can advertise your property as Smoking or No Smoking, you can choose to advertise your property as Vaping or No Vaping. You must be careful you are not breaking any anti-discrimination laws in your vetting process, but landlords are allowed to reject a rental application on the basis of potential damage.
If I Allow Vaping, What Steps Should I Take?
By allowing vaping you may open your property up to a wider pool of tenants. However, if you decide to allow vaping, it’s a good idea to set some ground rules in your tenancy agreement. You can consider asking tenants to only vape outside or request that tenants only use odourless vapes. Landlords can request that tenants clean all surfaces regularly, and this can be checked at routine rental inspections. Just as carpet cleaning is often needed at the end of a tenancy, there are companies that can come into your property and clean curtains and soft furnishings. Building the cost of soft furnishing cleaning into your rent or requesting end-of-tenancy soft furnishing cleaning is a possibility. Be aware, however, that there can be limitations on recoverability of such cleaning costs – this is a good point to discuss with your property manager.
Legally, both landlords and tenants share the responsibility for keeping a rental property in a good condition and tenants are required to keep a property in a clean and tidy condition. To find out more about who is responsible for what, read our helpful property maintenance article Who’s responsible for Maintenance and Repairs in a Rental Property?
What Steps Can I Take if My Property is Damaged by Vaping?
If damage is caused by vaping and your tenant refuses to fix the damage, a landlord can make an application to the Tenancy Tribunal for a repair order.
What Are the Side Effects of Vaping?
Although considered a safer alternative to smoking, vaping is not without its health risks. Although vaping is a personal choice for your tenant, it is interesting to note the long-term health effects of vaping are yet to be established. Vaping may have an effect on lung health and nicotine is addictive.
How Can a Property Manager Help?
If you are worried about finding good tenants or concerned about the maintenance of your rental property, consider engaging the services of a professional property management company such as Crockers. Your property manager will carry out regular property inspections for you and ensure your property is being kept to the required standards.
Contact the team at Crockers on email@example.com or chat on 09 623 5952.