How to Remove Odours Left Behind by Past Tenants – 4 Types of Disgusting Scents You Need To Eliminate

This period of time that is taken up identifying and handling the odour can be expensive while you pay for it to be cleaned while also losing out on rental income. So, you want to be able to identify and tackle the source of the smell as soon as you can. Here are some tips to help you find, and remove odours in your rental properties. 

How To Remove Odours Left Behind By Past Tenants - 4 Types Of Disgusting Scents You Need To Eliminate

When a tenant moves out, you usually want to find a new tenant as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, sometimes when you enter a unit that has recently been vacated you are going to discover that there is a smell. This is never a pleasant experience because it puts a delay on finding a new tenant to rent the unit to, after all nobody wants to move into a house that has a foul odour. 

This period of time that is taken up identifying and handling the odour can be expensive while you pay for it to be cleaned while also losing out on rental income. So, you want to be able to identify and tackle the source of the smell as soon as you can. Here are some tips to help you find, and remove odours in your rental properties.

However, before we dive into how to remove odours from your property, did you know that these odours can sometimes result in lower appraisal results when you are trying to refinance the property. To learn more about what you need to fix to get the most out of a refinance, click the link below for a free strategy call.

What Could Be Causing the Smell 

Before you can eliminate the odour, you need to be able to identify the source. For example, some of the most common sources of bad smells are the kitchen, carpets, and upholstery. So, you are going to want to investigate these first when you want to remove odours. 

As well, simply trust your nose. If you smell cigarette smoke, pet odours, or a musty mildew scent, you can probably figure out the source of the scent very easily. 

How to Remove Odours – 4 Varieties 

Since different scents can come from a variety of sources, you need to know how to clean all of them. (Or hire a cleaning service that does.) Of course, as a general rule, wiping down every surface of the home with anti-bacterial wipes to kill off any bacteria or filth that can be contributing to the smell. 

Kitchen Smells 

There are two main types of smells you can expect to come from a kitchen, cooking smells and drain smells. So, when it time to remove odours, you need to know how to eliminate both.

To remove odours that are coming up through the drain, you are going to want to use a strong drain cleaner to kill any bacteria and remove any build-up within the plumbing. As well, you may potentially want to consider snaking your drains to remove any blockages caused by old food waste or improperly discarded cooking oils. 

To remove odours left behind by your tenants cooking, you may need to do a little extra work to take care of them. Scents left behind by spices and cooking oils are left on surfaces all over the kitchen and the rest of the property. In order to remove them you will need to scrub all of the hard surfaces and consider cleaning any fabrics such as curtains and furniture that may have absorbed the scent. 

Carpet Odours 

Spills, leaks, and pets can all leave lasting scents in the carpets of your unit. You can typically remove odours like these fairly easily by simply shampooing the carpet. However, for some of the more pungent odours you may have to replace the flooring to eliminate the smell and any stains that may remain. 

If you do end up replacing your carpets to remove odours, you should consider replacing them with wood or another less absorbent option so that you do not have to worry about it again in the future. 

Musty Scents 

Musty scents can be difficult to eliminate because they come from a wide variety of sources. This can include things like stale air from poor ventilation, or a more significant issue such as mold and mildew buildup. 

To start eliminating a musty smell, start by opening all of the windows and doors and allowing the unit to air out and fill with fresh air. You can also use fans, dehumidifiers, or the unit’s ventilation system to increase airflow and eliminate the smell. 

If the smell remains after all of this, you should have the bathroom cleaned of any mildew and bring someone in to check for any mold that could be growing in the unit. It is incredibly important you remove any mold growth in your units as soon as possible because it can spread causing a serious health hazard to your tenants and unknown damage to your property. If these buildups are caused by water damage and leaks, you will need to have that damage repaired as well to prevent any further growth or damage in the future. 

Cigarette Smell 

The scent of cigarettes and smoking is not a pleasant smell. As well it can be incredibly challenging to remove odours caused by years of indoor smoking. Cigarette smoke is well known for absorbing into any exposed fabrics as well as covering your walls and ceilings, causing a major issue when looking to rent the property out to non-smokers. 

As well, cigarette smoke contains nicotine residue which can lead to serious health issues for your tenants if it is not taken care of. These problems can be made even worse if your next tenant has allergies, preexisting health conditions, or is a child. 

Depending on the severity, you may be able to scrub off the residue from the walls and ceilings, however if the buildup is substantial you may need to repaint the unit in order to fully eliminate the problem. As for fabric surfaces such as curtains and furniture, you may be able to remove the residue with steam cleaning or other cleaning methods, but in some cases, it can be so ingrained into the fabric that it will not come out and the items will need to be replaced instead in order to remove odours and residue left behind by cigarette smoking. 

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How to Prevent Smells in Your Units  

Taking the time to deep clean every surface to remove odours can be very costly, especially if your unit is sitting vacant while you do so. So, it is important you take steps early on to prevent smells from occurring. This can include replacing the floors with one that is easier to clean and scheduling regular property inspections to prevent smells from building up over time. 

Meanwhile, if you are looking to learn more about the world of real estate investing, or are looking to grow your portfolio, reach out to us at LendCity and book a consultation with our team to work out a strategy for your investments going forward. You can contact us at or by calling 519-960-0370. Alternatively, click the link below to book a free strategy call with our team today.

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