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How to Find & Get Rid Of Odors Before Listing Your Rental

Rental Beast
August 2, 2022

If you are nose-blind or the owners have lived in that house for a while, you might not notice the smell, but anyone visiting for the first time and can smell will. Here are three common odors that can turn away potential homebuyers and the steps you can take to eliminate them.

Pet Smells

Pets can have odors that not everyone likes, and since you live with the animal every day, the smell isn’t noticeable to you.

If you aren’t sure how to determine whether or not your pet leaves a bad smell, do a smell test.

  1. Ask your real estate agent whether or not the house smells.
  2. Use a black light. Stains from urine or other pet markings that you can’t see

Now that you’ve found the source, let's get to how we fix it.

  1. Keep your home clean and your pet clean. Clean up pet accidents as quickly as possible, and keep your pet’s litter box somewhere contained and cleaned. I have an automatic litter box that cleans itself. It is perfect for busy individuals who don’t have the time to frequently keep their litter box clean.  
  2. Air out your house. Open up those windows and doors to let fresh air circulate throughout your home.


The smell of smoke residue is apparent. When you pass someone that has recently smoked you can tell. How do we fix it?

  1. Meet your new best friend: Ammonia—a hardcore cleaning agent that cuts through the lingering odors from smoking. Be careful, and even sparing with Ammonia, though. Keep it away from bleach, test a small area first, and make sure to ventilate your space while cleaning.
  2. Use odor-eliminating products like Febreze. The active ingredient in several Febreze products is hydroxypropyl beta-cyclodextrin (HPβCD). The molecule traps and binds volatilized hydrocarbons within its structural ring, retaining malodorous molecules, which reduces their volatility and thus the perception of their scent.

Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew have a distinctive smell, like a damp cloth that has sat out for a while. Unfortunately, the only way to address mold and mildew is to find and remove them at the source.

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Fight Mold & Mildew in Your Home

Fighting Mold & Mildew[/caption]

Mold and mildew can be tough to find—check around water sources. Look under sinks, cabinets, bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.

  1. Tread lightly when getting rid of mold. as it can be toxic. The CDC recommends you wear long pants, shirts, protective gloves, eyewear, waterproof boots, and an N95 mask when dealing with it.
  2. Hire an expert. Mold is a common problem that at times requires a professional solution. Contact a certified mold remediation specialist for testing and removal, especially if you believe mold and mildew are pervasive throughout your house.

Better Smells To Add To Your Home Before Renting

  1. Live plants and flowers can give your home a natural smell.
  2. Seed your home with an appetizing aroma. Many agents rave about having fresh, warm chocolate chip cookies during an open house.  

Be sure to address foul odors in your home before trying to add any good smells. Replace the bad smell with the good, and not only will your home smell better, but you’ll also probably have more people eager to rent it.

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Rental Beast
Rental Beast is an end-to-end SaaS platform empowering real estate professionals with powerful productivity tools and the nation's most comprehensive database of nearly ten million rental properties not found on any MLS. Utilizing a seamless and secure integration, participating MLSs capture thousands of properties that are normally off-MLS inventory, and leverage essential search, data ingestion, and maintenance systems needed to help member agents capture their share of $12 billion in annual leasing commissions.

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