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Rentem

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #1 

It seems like everytime I have a tenant move out I am stuck footing the bill for new carpet, new paint, cleaning etc. The security deposit I  take (equal to 1 month rent) is usually not enough to cover the cost of cleanup. In the past I have been able to clean thrououghly enough to make the house look clean, but can't get rid of the odors (pet odor, cigarette odor, etc) until I replace the carpets, repaint the walls, etc. I am curious to see if anyone else runs into the same probem, and what creative ways have been used to make a house rentable in a short amount of time. Thanks in advance.

OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,720
Reply with quote  #2 

Cigarette odors cling to walls, ceilings, window coverings, etc.  Washing those down with a basic cleanser with some baking soda in the water seems to help.  (Yeah, I know - its a pain to do.)  I've even seen other LLs actally mop the walls down with a flat sponge mop. 

Another LL gave me some stuff to use for pet odors called Pet Stain & Odor Remover (by Hartz).  I haven't needed to try it yet, but he said it worked for him.  I refuse to change carpet between each tenant. It is TOO expensive to do so.  (I try to make it last the 7 yrs that I can take it off the taxes.)  You can't keep your profits up doing this.  I have the carpets cleaned each time (I use one of our local private companies with the vacuum thing in his van - not the nationwide guys - much cheaper! And since I use him for all the units, I think he gives me a discount and does a better job). 

I also won't paint unless it has been 2 yrs or I have no other choice.  I try to keep the rest of the paint each time I do paint.  Mark it which room it is and which unit, and store it at the rental.  Then I try to just touch up between paintings.  (Insist that the tenant NOT throw away the stored paint or put in in an inaccessible area.)  You may want to atate  that your units are NO PETS or NO SMOKING.  I rarely allow pets.  Then only small ones.  I charge them a nonrefundable pet fee to cover carpet cleaning (check your local law-some states regard this as a deposit) and an extra amount each month for EACH pet they register.

When the tenant gives me notice they're moving, I send him a move-out letter telling them exactly what I expect in cleaning.  Then charge them when it doesn't get done.

Can you up the security deposit?  Laws differ, but some states allow you to collect an amount equal to more than one month's rent.

It seems that I'm always cleaning & painting too.  I started subbing out some of the cleaning to other people, not companies - too expensive.  (Don't pay them until you've seen their work and OK it.)

Rentem

Registered:
Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #3 

Thanks for the info OHlandlord. I assume you have properties in Ohio too. What part of Ohio do you operate in. My properties in the Columbus, Ohio area. Unfortunately it can be difficult to ask for more $$$ on the deposit on the low end properties (these are the problem propeties). The people just don't have it. I don't allow pets either, but most tenants seem to ignor this. Anyway, I do appreciate the tip on cleaning. Depending on the traffic, I can normally get about 4 -5  years out of carpet (I use the stuff that is pretty cheap). After they move out, I can get the unit to "look" really clean, but the problem is that odors linger. Sometimes I think this may deter a higher quality tenant. They need to invent an "odor bomb" (similar to bug bomb) that will remove/cover the bad odor. I haven't found one yet, but if I do I will let you know!

pureo3

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #4 

I am a landlord as well, and have ran into many of the same problem that you are describing. Many times I replaced carpet and repainted walls to rid a house of cigarette odors. This method works, but can be costly for every property that has an odor problem. I began using an ozone generator as a part of the post move out/clean up process, and was truly amazed at the results of these machines. Initially I was skeptical so I decided to rent an ozone generator. After the first application I was a believer, and purchased one before the next property went vacant. Check out this page for Treatment procedures and recommendations on how to utilize an ozone generator in the manner that you are inquiring:

http://www.pureo3.biz/ozone-treatment-procedures/index.php

http://www.pureo3.biz is my site, and we rent and sell ozone generators specifically for the situation that you are describing. Happy cleaning and good luck


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Rent an ozone generator to remove tough odors (ie cigarette, pet, etc) after tenants moves out! Visit PureO3.biz, the foremost authority on ozone generator technology and other air quality products.
Visit PureO3.biz!
kurt

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Posts: 137
Reply with quote  #5 

Yeah I run into that also, not to mention the problem of dirt bags for tenants forgeting what a vacum is or so forth.. I've seen cockroaches live cleaner than a few of my tenants and those few usually get booted out and the cheesy deposit of one month is already spent in past rent and court costs..

 

Can put fines on the lease, but collecting them.. with the lousy system in Ohio, good luck!

 

But yep try to cut costs, let the carpet ride as long as you can, and I even tell new tenants that I cleaned the unit as best I could and did repairs to get the unit looking decent. But I'm not going to doll out for new carpet and other luxuries until you prove you can pay your rent for the next 6 months, keep the place clean, and don't tear the unit up.. They might not like it, but I explain to many dead beats. As for others working on my units specially tenants working off part of rent I find most tenants have the talent of a dead gunnie pig with Alzhimers, I do the work myself 99.9% of the time.

OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,720
Reply with quote  #6 

Hi all.  I'm in Ross county, south of Columbus.  I've got some low end duplexes, a couple nice duplexes, and several SFHs.

I try to make the carpet last as long as the IRS says we can take off for it.  I usually buy a remnant or carpet from the warehouse/discount carpet place, never top end stuff.  I buy a little better stuff for the SFHs but the low end apts. get whatever they got that's neutral multi-colored (to hide stains).  No use in flushing good money down the drain.

I don't let the tenants clean or paint to take $ off the rent.  They always do a LOUSY job.  And they always tell you they used to be in the construction trade...    I hire teenage relatives to do this when I too swamped or busy with a big project.

It is hard to get rid of pet odors and especially smells from a heavy smoker.  Sometimes if I've already cleaned everything & had the carpets cleaned (& are dry) & I still smell odors - I pour baking soda on the carpets & just let it sit for a couple days, then vacuum it up.  Sometimes that helps.  In summer I can leave the windows open in upper units & air the place out.  Won't be doing THAT anytime soon.  Brrrrrrr!  (If you want to make it smell good for a showing, try putting some cloves & cinnamon sticks in an old pan w/ some water on the stove & let it simmer.  The place will smell great for a little while.  It is a little extra work, but it works pretty well in the SFHs.  For some reason, women seem to love the place then.)  Febreeze works for a little time too.  I often go in & spray the place just before a showing.  We do what we gotta do to rent these places.

Best of luck to all.  Hope to hear from you guys (or gals) soon.

Rentem

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #7 

What a small world. I grew up in Ross County. Anyway, I agree about NOT letting the tenants clean for rent credit. When I have tried that in the past, they expect me to allow them to do something in return for paying me rent every month. Once you give an inch they want to take a mile.

Pureo3: I have heard about these ozone generators before, but am not really familiar with how to use one. I checked out the pureo3 site and am curious. What is the best way to reach you as I have more questions.

vern

Registered:
Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #8 
Try CONSUME ( works everytime ) can be purchased at Harter Floor Care,
Elkhart,IN 574-293-5641




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Vern Miller
Zippo

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #9 

I just moved and the previoustenant had pets and also smoked the odors were throughout the house. Thelandlord compensated me for repainting all the interior walls I added theAir-ReNu paint additive that a friend recommended and thankfully, the housestays smelling fresh no more odors. One application works continuallyno re-application required.  Check itout http://www.air-renu.com

 

adamspestcontrol

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #10 
For smoking, I think you should assign a designated area for the tenants. It would be best if you can put signs or even smoke alarms to at least give attention to your rules. And if they really are willing to stay, you can add another month for advanced payments.
PatseChi

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Posts: 79
Reply with quote  #11 
I have a Strict No Pets; they get a pet - they get evicted.
smoking is bad; try baking soda, lots of baking soda sprinkled on carpets, let set 24-48 hours - vacuum
walls; try washing with a new sponge mop and fresh lysol


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Patse
JJHenr2011

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #12 

 

As a property manager, I imagine one of your biggest annoyances is odor tenants leave behind for you to clean up.  I am getting rave reviews on Room Shocker and wanted to share it with you all to see what you think. http://www.biocidesystems.com/roomshocker1.html

Zippo

Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #13 

Pet urine consists of mainly three parts. Urea; makes the urine sticky and allows the other two parts to stick around. Urochrome gives the urine its ugly yellow color that stains carpets, furniture, the wall and anything the cat sprays orurinates on. The third main part of the urine is Uric Acid. Uric acid in theurine consists of salts and crystals that give off the extremely pungent odor.These odors attach to minute solids floating in the air, most are invisible the heaver ones you can see floating in the air when the sunlight comes through the window in just the right angle. Each particle has a positive electrical charge because it is missing an electron. This enables it to drift as it is drawn inone direction and then another by electrical charges imbedding in carpets,drapes and walls. An ozone generator will remove the odors by seeking out the source and destroying it, aerosol sprays and candles only replace the odor witha more pleasant odor they do not remove the odor only mask it. For more information on odor control, http://www.air-renu.com

carolinesmith09

Registered:
Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #14 
I think you should make your tenants sign a contract. State there that they are not allowed to smoke inside the room and anywhere around your premises. You also need to add another month for the advance payment instead of having one. So that will somehow cover your future expenses. 
amygarside

Registered:
Posts: 28
Reply with quote  #15 
In the past, my biggest problem was the smell of pet urine. I finally decided not to allow pets in my property anymore. That saved me a lot of money, not to mention energy in keeping the property clean.
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