Forums / Property Investing / Help Needed! / Know how to remove the smell of a smoker?

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  • Profile photo of SonjaSonja
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    @sonja
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 338

    After living in a property for several years a tenant has left behinnd the stench and stains of heavy smoking. Any tips on how to remove it apart from replacing the carpets, curtains etc and using a high pressure hose and/or sander on the walls and ceiling? Is this considered wear and tear or can the costs come out of their bond? Can you discriminate when choosing a tenant based on their smoking or non-smoking habits?

    Cheers
    Sonja

    Profile photo of alwayscuriousalwayscurious
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    @alwayscurious
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    We had the same thing.

    Basically – the window glass holds a film of smoke also! – we washed all the windows, and the curtains (hand washed, carefully & line dried in the same way they hang.)

    Once we’d vacuumed the house a few times, all the smell was gone. But it took a fair bit of effort.

    In another situation, (smoke damage from fire, pong!!) we did the same thing, but washed the walls & ceiling with sugar soap
    We didn’t high pressure the walls, we filled the bath with sugar soap and used a flat microfibre mop (like enjo mop, but from woolies so it’s about 1/23049 the price)

    Profile photo of geogeo
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    @geo
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    You might not have to replace the carpets – just steam-clean them

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    Profile photo of elika7264elika7264
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    @elika7264
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    Hello sonja,

    you posted

    Can you discriminate when choosing a tenant based on their smoking or non-smoking habits?

    If you elect to have a non smoker, that’s not discrimination (in the true sense). Its really a lifesyle choice that you make. This question is one for the property managers out there. The other issue is how do you enforce a non smoking ban. Do you put a clause in the lease. How do you monitor it?[blink]

    Helen

    Profile photo of elika7264elika7264
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    @elika7264
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    Hi Sonja,

    should have mentioned this in my earlier posting.

    You noted:

    Is this considered wear and tear or can the costs come out of their bond?

    If you allow a smoker to reside in your property, then I believe stench and stains would probably fall within the domain of wear and tear. Why not phone up the Residential Tenancy Tribunal and ask them to advise on your legal position re access to bond money.[confused2]

    Regards,[cap]
    Helen

    Profile photo of thecrestthecrest
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    @thecrest
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    Hi Sonja
    If your lease does not mention non-smoking, then you would be deemed to be allowing it, or at the least, taking your chances, because 20% of the population smoke, and the damage is normal wear and tear for that 20%. Stinks I reckon.
    Moteliers (like me) use an ozone machine to eliminate smoking smell in rooms. There is one made by “Rainbow Air” , costs about $1200, changes a smoked room to a non-smoking room in under 2 hours. Works like a charm. Eliminates the smell from all fabrics in the room too, but it won’t remove the long-term tar from the ceiling – domestos does though. Maybe you can rent an ozone machine somewhere.
    cheers
    thecrest

    thecrest | Tony Neale - Statewide Motel Brokers
    http://www.statewidemotelbrokers.com.au
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    selling motels in NSW

    Profile photo of GambiniGambini
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    @gambini
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    Simple Washy Washy Steamy Steamy
    Then burn candles and insense
    and
    ta da

    Finito
    [cigar]

    Profile photo of aussierogueaussierogue
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    @aussierogue
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    i recommend waiting until a stinking hot summer day and then leave prawns all over various part of the house. come back a week later and your cigarette smoke smell will have definatley disappeared. hope this helps.

    Profile photo of PurpleKissPurpleKiss
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    LOL aussierougue.

    As for the lease, we have one porerty where the PM put in the lease that smoking is not permitted inside. I wasn’t aware this was going in the lease, but the tenant (a smoker) was happy to sign it and happy to smoke outside.

    It would be very hard to police but there’s nothing stopping you trying something like this if you wished.

    PK

    Profile photo of SonjaSonja
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    @sonja
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    Thanks aussierogue LOL. My computer and I are now wearing the cup of tea that I was drinking when I read the first line of your post. I love your idea (hehehehe) the new aroma should attract lots of prostective tenants. Sort of reminds me of a house we looked at that had 12 fluffy white dogs living (and excreeting) inside – you’d never notice a smoker there!

    Thanks for the ideas everyone, I’m just a bit of an anti (ANTI) smoker so I guess I let it bug me a bit more than it should.

    Cheers
    Sonja

    Profile photo of BarnseyBarnsey
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    Sonja
    Don’t worry about getting on a bit of a soapbox session about smokers in properties. I smoke & at one stage gave up for a while – went to a mate’s house where he & his mates that lived there (4 in total) all smoked. Holy hell!!! What a stink! Since then I’ve never smoked inside a house or hotel room. I have a “no smoking” clause in the tenancy agreement. That said, I do provide a covered area outside so a ciggie can be smoked outside even if its raining.

    If your paintwork is really stained, there is a primer you can get (I think it has aluminium oxide in it) that will stop stains like rust or nicotine leaching through pale paint. Its used a lot in pubs etc. For the carpets I find the dry cleaning system a bit more effective at pong removal.

    Regards

    Patrick

    The dumbest question is the one you don’t ask.

    Profile photo of BarnseyBarnsey
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    aussierogue
    you have reminded me of a tale about a mate of mine. He had been to the local RSL for a few beers on a Sunday night. He deserved it, it was mid January & he had been working hard in the back yard. Needless to say it didn’t take many beers for the leg bones to turn to rubber!
    Next day I picked him up for work. Had to bang hard on the door & toot the horn a few times to wake him. Two weeks later (after working away on oil rigs) we’re getting close to Paul’s place when we see what we thought was smoke coming from the house. We pulled in the drive and got out of the car. The “smoke” was flies, millions of flies and there was a terrible smell. “Oh s%¤#” says Paul, “I won a seafood platter at the RSL, I left it on the kitchen bench.”
    Moral: Don’t go away for a long period of time when hungover at departure time.

    Regards

    Patrick

    The dumbest question is the one you don’t ask.

    Profile photo of aussierogueaussierogue
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    sorry sonja good one patrick. actually i got the idea from an old wives tale. a couple gets a divorse but its the man that has to move out. he is a little bit bitter and on the day of leaving decides to get even. when the other half is out of the house he takes down the curtains in the living room and stuffs the prawn shells inside the cylinder which holds up the curtains. and then replaces the curtains. sure enough w/in 2 days the place stinks and no-one can tell where the smell is coming from. 2 months later fed up she puts the home up for sale and through someone else he rebuys thew place at a knockdown price….or so the story goes…hehe

    Profile photo of shaunwalkershaunwalker
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    @shaunwalker
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    i’m a smoker though i rarely smoke in the house, on the odd occasion i have done it, ive found fabreaze really good to get rid of the smell. ive even asked non smoking friends if they could smell the cigarette smoke in the place and they couldnt.
    cheers
    shaun

    Lead, Follow or get out of the bloody way

    Profile photo of renelrenel
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    @renel
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    Ok so the general consensus is that you can specify 'no smoking inside'? That would mean that if walk in and the place smelt like an ashtray it would be an evictable offense?

    Profile photo of Scott No MatesScott No Mates
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    Probably won't be able to evict on breaching a non-smoking clause but would probably allow you to use the bond to clean the place.

    I would suggest sugar soaping the walls (the stench does get in and you'd be surprised how dirty the walls get) and a liberal dose of bicarbonate soda through the carpets – rubbed in, left to absorb the smells (incl pet smells) then vacuumed out a few times.

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