Tenant wants vape clause removed in contract.

47 Replies

I have a new tenant that wants to vape.  My PM has a no smoking/no vaping clause in her contract, and he (tenant) wants the vaping part removed.  Does anyone have any experience with tenants that vape?  Will vaping cause any permanent damage to the interior of the property?  

I don't have experience with tenants vaping but I do know that the vapor smell dissipates in seconds once it is in the air. I would imagine that the long term effects of vapor in an apartment, in any, would be far less problematic than cigarette smoke.

My stance would be to stay with the current PMs policy. I agree the smell factor might not be as intense as burn/smoke but I'm unsure of the cumulative effect. Here is a report from FEMA and the US Fire Administration that details the fire/explosion danger which you can cite to support your PM.

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/electronic_cigarettes.pdf

I recommend keeping it simple and sticking with the lease (and let the PM handle it...don't dedicate mind share to these kinds of things).  We are investors, not vaping damage testers.

Originally posted by @Len Fallis :

My stance would be to stay with the current PMs policy. I agree the smell factor might not be as intense as burn/smoke but I'm unsure of the cumulative effect. Here is a report from FEMA and the US Fire Administration that details the fire/explosion danger which you can cite to support your PM.

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/electronic_cigarettes.pdf

Great article, thanks!  I hadn’t thought of the fire hazard associated with vaping.  That’s an easier out than interior damage. 

Vaping is better than smoking. Clause or not they’ll probably do it anyways if they want to.

In my limited experience being around people who vape there’s no evidence of it within several minutes of it happening.

I recommend you let the PM handle it. If you are talking to the tenant direct and you make any adjustments, expect to be dealing direct on any further issues they don't like the answer of. It just invites them to come to you, in which case don't have a PM and do it yourself.

That being said, having a "No vaping" clause is really like having a "No saying the word alabaster" clause. To know you are really going to have to be standing there watching them when it happens.

Just tear up the agreement and look for another tenant.  This one is going to vape/smoke/burn candles in your unit/property anyway.

This is why you send a copy of the application and tenant criteria prior to doing background searches, let alone signing lease agreements.

@Morgan Klein allowing the tenants to modify the lease before they move in is a slippery slope.

You (or the PM) is essentially training them in a subconscious way that the lease terms are negotiable. That's not a position that you want to be in as landlord/PM.

Totally agree with @Mike Dymski . Let the PM handle it by using the standard lease.

Originally posted by @Mike Cumbie :

I recommend you let the PM handle it. If you are talking to the tenant direct and you make any adjustments, expect to be dealing direct on any further issues they don't like the answer of. It just invites them to come to you, in which case don't have a PM and do it yourself.

That being said, having a "No vaping" clause is really like having a "No saying the word alabaster" clause. To know you are really going to have to be standing there watching them when it happens.

I don’t communicate with my tenants, my PM asked whether it was something I would consider for this lease.  But good point they’re probably going to do it regardless if it’s in the contract or not.  

Originally posted by @Will Gaston :

@Morgan Klein allowing the tenants to modify the lease before they move in is a slippery slope.

You (or the PM) is essentially training them in a subconscious way that the lease terms are negotiable. That's not a position that you want to be in as landlord/PM.

Totally agree with @Mike Dymski . Let the PM handle it by using the standard lease.

That’s a good point, thanks.  They’ve already signed the contract and are asking for a modification, after the fact.  Completely tearing up the contract in-hand is not a precedent I want to set, with the tenant or the PM, for that matter.

Pass on this tennat, do not compromise your PMs policies and do not accept her as a tennat under any circumstances. She will do as she pleases regardless of her lease. She will be a bad choice as a tenant.

Be thankful she asked so you can reject her application.

If it were me, I would thank the tenant for being honest and having an honest discussion of it. As long as it doesn’t affect the property, I’d cross it out and initial.

I would rather a tenant be honest and work with me on issues, than ignore it and then hide something. And really, what is a vape doing to the property?

Hi Morgan! At the apartment complex where I worked, we saw mass amounts of damage due to vaping/smoking. So, I would recommend, like everyone said above, to stick with the current lease. While you may not be able to directly prevent them from vaping, if there is damage caused by it your lease will have you covered. You will probably need to repaint and then deduct the cost from their deposit. Hope this helps! 

@Morgan Klein say no on principal. Meaning your contracts and rules are not negotiable. Vaping has been grouped in with "no smoking" everywhere in this country. Sorry that is just the way it is. Maybe the applicant is living in a pretend world where they think vaping is harmless, but no reason for you to join them there. Air quality of your property is important. 

Vaping sets off smoke detectors... A lot. 

I would know because I Vape (save the memes).

Let's not forget who owns the property!  Never let them dictate what goes on in your property(no matter how small it may seem)

You notice a film/staining on the paint after a while.

Yeah he seems nice , amend the lease .. Then after a week he switches back to his trusty camel non filters , buys a pit bull and invites his wild drunken buddies over for weekend parties . Look if you start doing special favors and arrangements from the lease you are training them that you are a pushover and easily cave . You are the landlord you are in the power position not them you should adhere to the “golden rule “- you have the gold so you make the rules !

I own a vape shop. In the four years that we have owned the store, we have seen no damage to our paint job or to the acoustic ceiling tiles due to vape. VG vegetable glycerin in close quarters does leave a film on glass. PG propylene glycol one  at one time was pumped through the air vents in hospitals as an anti-bacterial. 

It is the tar in cigs that really makes the mess.

Vaping, as mentioned above, WILL set off smoke detectors in close proximity. 

The fire hazard from lithium batteries is no different from the fire hazard in cell phone batteries, lap top computers, high-end flash lights, or power tools.

We do not allow smoking but do allow vaping. LOL, we give tenants a discount at our shop.

Originally posted by @Dennis M.:

Yeah he seems nice , amend the lease .. Then after a week he switches back to his trusty camel non filters , buys a pit bull and invites his wild drunken buddies over for weekend parties . Look if you start doing special favors and arrangements from the lease you are training them that you are a pushover and easily cave . You are the landlord you are in the power position not them you should adhere to the “golden rule “- you have the gold so you make the rules !

I am not sure that vaping is quite the slippery slope you described. Lots of hipsters vape and they couldn't choke down a camel no filter if their life depended on it. Still I agree, no reason to cave on this or anything.

Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock :
Originally posted by @Dennis M.:

Yeah he seems nice , amend the lease .. Then after a week he switches back to his trusty camel non filters , buys a pit bull and invites his wild drunken buddies over for weekend parties . Look if you start doing special favors and arrangements from the lease you are training them that you are a pushover and easily cave . You are the landlord you are in the power position not them you should adhere to the “golden rule “- you have the gold so you make the rules !

I am not sure that vaping is quite the slippery slope you described. Lots of hipsters vape and they couldn't choke down a camel no filter if their life depended on it. Still I agree, no reason to cave on this or anything.

Vaping leaves the resulting oil behind in which case can develop into what’s called “ popcorn lung”  in a person from it being trapped in their lungs . that residue in the air is sticky and gets all over the place and of coarse the hazards of a potential  fire . A lot of people switch to this in an effort to quit cigarettes but eventually go back to their cigs after a while . 

This is not a discussion, because this is not a democracy. Tenants do not dictate terms under any circumstances, nor should you communicate with them. I realize this is still too new of a thing for there to be data on it, but look at the bigger picture...1. Tenants don't get to dictate terms or modify agreements, period.

Only one additional point:  if you make exception for this tenant's request, you can open yourself to all sorts of possible discrimination claims from other tenants.

"You allow Mr. Blue to vape, but not Mr. Green?"  "You are discriminating against Greens!"

Just don't do it.

Its not that big a deal, I would probably allow it. It's essentially odorless. As far as people saying pass on this tenant its a slippery slope I don't see it that way. Its a negotiation, the tenant is being honest about what they want. The landlord can say yes or no. If the tenant is worthy in terms of other factors like income and credit then I don't see anything wrong with them asking for what they want. They have a right to ask a question doesn't make them a bad tenant.

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