Bad smell in potential rental property

10 Replies

All, 

Looking at a house that has a bad smell in it, they had dogs and a smoker.  The carpet is pretty rough so I am going to pull that and put nice woodlike tile down.  

The question is this, if I pull the carpet and carpet pad, will that take the smell with it?  I don't want to put up money if I can't get red of the smell.

It looks to have been recently repainted.

that's impossible for anyone to say.  The subfloor could need replacing as well 

Depends entirely on the source. Could be that new carpet pad, carpet, and paint will be enough. Then again, you may have to go down to the studs. Good luck.
Originally posted by @Byron Bohlsen :

that's impossible for anyone to say.  The subfloor could need replacing as well 

 Thanks, pretty vague I realize, the subfloor is concrete slab.

Usually pulling up the carpet and pad as well as hitting the sub floor with a couple costs costs of good oil based primer will solve the problem. But... Not always. Just depends on how bad it is.
Originally posted by @Al Wilson :
Depends entirely on the source. Could be that new carpet pad, carpet, and paint will be enough. Then again, you may have to go down to the studs. Good luck.

 So the smell can penetrate the sheet-rock?  Is it best, in general, to avoid these?

I would approach this as if the subfloor was affected- lower the offer price to account for addressing the subfloor. Sometimes an oil-based sealer will do the trick; sometimes sections have to be replaced. 

Answer is yes. We just did one of these. New carpet, new sheetrock, new paint, and clean ductwork.
Originally posted by @Steve Babiak :

I would approach this as if the subfloor was affected- lower the offer price to account for addressing the subfloor. Sometimes an oil-based sealer will do the trick; sometimes sections have to be replaced. 

 Great site, and great advice, thank you sir.. I also found this link that was helpful.  Apparently this is not uncommon, maybe I should say "obviously"    http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2012/11/05/getting-rid-tough-odors/

Originally posted by @Al Wilson :
Answer is yes. We just did one of these. New carpet, new sheetrock, new paint, and clean ductwork.

 Did you answer yes to "avoid" or yes to "can it penetrate sheet-rock"?  I assume that it was yes to sheet-rock with the rest of your response.  This help me understand the full cost.  Would you need to do this (sheetrock, carpet, ductwork, (paint i get)) to a smoker that had a dog and was renting for one year?

Thanks in advance...

The latter. Cigarette smoke should not be quite that involved, but I would be careful. Smells are hard to get rid of and it is impossible to rent or sell a house that has residual smells. You might want to go on to the next one.

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