How to Get Odor Out of a Rental Home

Whether you're a renter or a tenant, an unpleasant odor can put a potential strain on the rental contract.

It could be a gorgeous house with a reasonable price, but if it smells too bad to live in it can create a major issue. Removing these odors is imperative for the landlord to keep his tenants and for the tenants whose quality of life is compromised by a bad odor. With some effort and persistence, the air quality in this rental home can once again be restored.

Search the house to locate any obvious sources of the odor such as garbage, pet accidents or mold and tend to it immediately. Remove anything from the home that is causing the stench. If mold is the problem, wear protective apparel such as a mask, gloves and safety glasses. Look in the phone book under mold removal if the mold is widespread or you suspect it may be black mold.

Air the house out by opening up the windows and doors to create a flow of fresh air through the home. This will help to force the odors out. Allow the home to air out for at least a full day.

Clean the carpets as odors tend to get trapped within the fibers. Rent a carpet cleaner from your local grocery or home improvement store and follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully for use. Sprinkle baking soda all over the carpet once it is clean to help absorb moisture and lingering odors. Vacuum up the baking soda after the carpet is completely dry. If the smell persists, the carpet may need to be replaced.

Add a grease cutting dish soap to a bucket of warm water to make it sudsy. Add a cup of white vinegar and mix it up well. Dip a clean cloth in the solution and wipe down the walls. This will help to remove any lingering cigarette smoke or grease that may be contributing to a bad smell in the house.

Place bowls of fresh coffee ground, white vinegar or baking soda throughout the home to help destroy odors. Leave the bowls in place overnight and dispose of them in the morning.

Things You Will Need

  • Mask
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Carpet cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Clean cloth
  • Fresh coffee grounds
  • Bucket of warm water

Tip

  • If the smell persists and cannot be removed, contact a house cleaning professional for a second opinion on where the odor is and how to remove it. If the smell is coming from subflooring or somewhere else that isn't easy to reach, you may also need to contact a professional contractor to see what it will take to fix it.