Banish Odors for Good: How to Get Rid of Previous Tenants' Smell

Learn how to eliminate persistent odors left by previous tenants with our comprehensive guide featuring seven powerful odor-elimination strategies. Additionally, explore the importance of ongoing maintenance, and discover how Azibo's property management solutions can streamline the process, ensuring your rental property remains a fresh and inviting haven for tenants.

Gemma Smith
Last Updated
January 25, 2024
Banish Odors for Good: How to Get Rid of Previous Tenants' Smell

Battling with stubborn smells left by previous tenants in your rental property?

It's a common challenge for rental property owners, but the solution is closer than you think. Dive into our essential guide as we reveal seven powerful strategies to eliminate those unwelcome odors and restore freshness to your space.

From deep cleaning secrets and the transformative power of a fresh paint job to innovative uses of baking soda, air purifiers, charcoal filters, and natural odor absorbers, right up to the heavy-duty option of professional ozone treatment, we've got all the bases covered.

And remember, managing a rental property is about more than just tackling smells. With Azibo's comprehensive suite of landlord services, including efficient rent collection and tenant screening, you can ensure your property remains a desirable haven for tenants.

With these expert tips, get ready to turn your rental property into a breath of fresh air.

Addressing persistent odors in rentals

Odors in rental properties can arise from a variety of sources, ranging from cooking and cigarette smoke smell to pet scents and long-term neglect, which can deeply permeate carpets, walls, and furnishings, making them challenging to eradicate.

If these odors are not addressed promptly and effectively, they can significantly impact the appeal and habitability of the property. Not only do lingering smells create an unpleasant environment, but they can also deter potential tenants, affecting your rental's desirability and value.

In the following sections, we will explore a range of strategies that can tackle these pesky odors head-on, helping to ensure your rental property remains fresh and inviting. Each approach targets specific types of smells, offering you a comprehensive toolkit to refresh and rejuvenate your space.

How to get rid of apartment smells: 7 strategies

Building on the necessity of addressing odors in rental properties, it's time to dive into the specific strategies that can transform your space. Persistent smells can be more than just a nuisance; studies have shown that unpleasant odors in a living environment can significantly impact mood and well-being.

Tackling these effectively creates a healthy, welcoming space for tenants. Let's take a look at 7 strategies in depth:

1. Deep cleaning

Deep cleaning is the first and most comprehensive step in addressing a range of odors, including pet urine, cigarette smoke, and cooking smells. By engaging in professional steam cleaning you can tackle surface dirt and deeply embedded odors.

This process is essential, especially for soft furnishings and carpets, which can harbor lingering smells. Additionally, thoroughly cleaning walls using a solution of hot water and vinegar or mild detergent can significantly neutralize smoke and food smells, enhancing the overall indoor air quality and making the space more inviting for new tenants.

2. Painting

A fresh coat of paint can transform your rental aesthetically and functionally. By using odor-sealing primers, you effectively lock in and neutralize a wide range of smells.

This step is particularly vital in areas with intense and persistent odors, providing a fresh slate and allowing the space to smell good again for new occupants. Painting refreshes the space visually and plays a crucial role in maintaining a fresh, clean-smelling environment.

3. Air purifiers and dehumidifiers

Incorporating air purifiers into your property management strategy can significantly enhance the living environment. Air purifiers can capture over 99% of airborne particles, including those responsible for pet dander, smoke smells, and other foul odors.

This is particularly beneficial in small apartments or spaces with limited air circulation. Dehumidifiers complement air purifiers by addressing humidity-related issues, often the source of a musty smell, foul odor, or unpleasant smell. By maintaining optimal humidity levels, dehumidifiers prevent the growth of mold and mildew, which are common culprits of lingering damp odors.

4. Baking soda treatments

Baking soda is a highly effective and versatile solution for tackling odors. When sprinkled generously on carpets, this household staple acts as a natural odor neutralizer. The fine grains of baking soda work by absorbing and neutralizing both acidic and basic odor molecules.

This simple yet powerful method benefits areas with fabric surfaces, including carpets and upholstered furniture. In addition to fabrics, baking soda can be strategically placed in refrigerators and cupboards to combat food-related smells.

Sprinkle baking soda lightly over the desired areas, and a few hours of patience can result in a noticeably fresher environment. This approach is easy to implement but also environmentally friendly and safe for pets and children. It's ideal for landlords seeking an effective, natural, odor-fighting solution for their rental properties.

5. Charcoal filters

Activated charcoal filters are a game-changer in neutralizing unpleasant odors in your new apartment or rental. These filters absorb a wide range of smells, from pet odors to the smoky smell of cigarette smoke.

By trapping odor-causing particles, activated charcoal effectively purifies indoor air quality, tackling everything from lingering cooking to musty smells often found in closed spaces. This method is particularly beneficial for small apartments where odors can become concentrated, making it a favorite among property managers for maintaining a fresh and inviting atmosphere.

6. Natural odor absorbers

Turning to natural odor absorbers like white vinegar, coffee grounds, and lemon peels can be surprisingly effective in addressing an unpleasant smell. White vinegar, for instance, is excellent for removing cigarette smells and pet urine odors.

Coffee grounds in strategic locations like the kitchen sink or near the garbage bin can neutralize food smells and other offensive odors. Lemon peels offer a fresh scent, ideal for combating stale air and emanating a good smell throughout the property.

These simple yet effective remedies are perfect for property management, ensuring a pleasant smell without harsh chemicals.

7. Professional ozone treatment

Professional ozone treatment offers a robust solution for persistent and challenging bad smells, such as those caused by pets. Ozone, a powerful oxidizing agent, is known for its efficiency in breaking down odor-causing molecules, making it highly effective against pet odors, smoke, and even mold.

During the treatment, an ozone generator disperses ozone gas throughout the property, targeting and neutralizing stubborn odors at their source. This method has been demonstrated to eliminate over 99% of odor-causing molecules in severe cases.

It's handy in situations where traditional cleaning methods fall short. However, due to the nature of ozone, this treatment should always be conducted by trained professionals to ensure safety and effectiveness.

By using professional ozone treatment, landlords can tackle even the most tenacious odors, restoring their property to a welcoming and odor-free state.

Ongoing maintenance: Unpleasant smells be gone!

Now that you've learned effective strategies to eliminate lingering odors in your rental property, it's important to emphasize the significance of ongoing maintenance. Regular maintenance ensures that your rental property exudes a pleasant and inviting atmosphere.

Routine cleaning and odor prevention

One of the key aspects of maintaining a fresh environment is routine cleaning. As a landlord or property manager, you should establish a regular cleaning schedule addressing potential odor sources, which includes deep-cleaning carpets, upholstery, and walls periodically.

By doing so, you not only prevent odors from resurfacing but also extend the lifespan of your property's assets.

Tenant education: A preventative measure

An informed tenant is more likely to contribute to a fresh-smelling environment. Therefore, it's essential to educate your tenants on maintaining cleanliness and preventing odors from developing.

Provide them with clear guidelines on proper cleaning practices and encourage them to report any odor issues promptly. An open line of communication between landlords and tenants can help prevent problems from escalating.

Pet and smoking policies

If you allow pets or smoking in your rental properties, it's advisable to establish and communicate clear policies regarding these practices. Consider requiring security deposits for pet owners and designating smoking areas away from the building to minimize the risk of odors spreading indoors.

These policies not only help prevent odors but also set expectations for tenants.

Exterior maintenance matters, too

Sometimes, outdoor factors can contribute to indoor odors. Proper landscaping and exterior maintenance are vital to prevent trash accumulation or stagnant water, which can lead to unpleasant smells infiltrating your property.

Regular attention to the property's exterior can help maintain a pleasant living environment.

HVAC system maintenance

Don't overlook the role of your property's HVAC system in maintaining indoor air quality. Changing air filters and scheduling routine maintenance can help ensure that your tenants enjoy fresh and clean air. A well-maintained HVAC system can prevent odors from circulating and affecting the indoor atmosphere.

Proactive odor inspections

Incorporate periodic odor inspections into your property management routine. These proactive checks can help identify potential issues before they become significant problems. By addressing odor concerns early, you can save both time and money in the long run.

By emphasizing the importance of ongoing maintenance and odor prevention, you create a more pleasant living environment for your tenants and protect the value and desirability of your rental property.

Remember, maintaining a fresh-smelling rental property is an investment that pays off in tenant satisfaction and property appreciation.

Streamlining rental property maintenance with Azibo

In previous sections, we discussed the importance of ongoing maintenance in rental properties to combat odors effectively. Azibo offers a suite of property management solutions, each of which can be seamlessly integrated into your maintenance strategy.

  • Efficient tenant screening: Azibo simplifies tenant screening, ensuring you select responsible tenants more likely to maintain a fresh-smelling environment.
  • Transparent lease agreements: Customize lease agreements to set clear expectations regarding property maintenance, odor prevention, and other crucial factors.
  • Streamlined maintenance management: Use Azibo to manage maintenance tasks efficiently, including tracking requests, scheduling inspections, and setting reminders for routine cleaning and HVAC maintenance.
  • Open dialogue with tenants: Azibo offers communication tools that facilitate prompt reporting and resolution of maintenance and odor-related concerns, preventing minor issues from becoming major problems.

Incorporating our tools into your rental property management strategy ensures that your property remains fresh and inviting while improving tenant satisfaction and property value.

How to get rid of previous tenant's smell: A breath of fresh air

Banishing stubborn odors left by a previous tenant and maintaining a fresh-smelling rental property is achievable and essential for your success as a landlord or property manager. With our comprehensive guide featuring seven powerful odor-elimination strategies, you've gained valuable insights into creating a welcoming living environment.

Remember, addressing odors is just one aspect of successful property management. It's about creating a space where tenants feel comfortable, safe, and content.

But your journey continues. Ongoing maintenance is the key to ensuring that every small space in your rental property remains a breath of fresh air. Regular cleaning, tenant education, transparent policies, exterior maintenance, HVAC system care, and proactive odor inspections are critical in maintaining a pleasant atmosphere.

And when it comes to simplifying the management of your property, we are here to help. From efficient tenant screening to transparent lease agreements, streamlined maintenance management, and open communication tools, Azibo offers a comprehensive suite of services to make your job easier and your rental property more desirable.

With these strategies and resources at your disposal, you're well-equipped to turn your rental property into a haven of freshness and desirability. Say goodbye to stubborn odors and hello to a successful and satisfying property management experience.

Important Note: This post is for informational and educational purposes only. It should not be taken as legal, accounting, or tax advice, nor should it be used as a substitute for such services. Always consult your own legal, accounting, or tax counsel before taking any action based on this information.

Gemma Smith

With 7 years in property management, Gemma serves as a key content strategist at While excelling in writing, editing, and SEO, she also enhances Azibo's social media presence. Passionately, Gemma educates others to make informed real estate investment decisions in the ever-changing market.

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