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How to Eliminate Pet Odors from Your Rental Property

A Dog Rolling on the Carpet of a Sunset Rental Home If your previous renter had pets, odds are that they will leave unwanted pet odors behind. A smelly rental property can be tricky to rent out, mainly if your new tenants don’t have pets or are extremely vulnerable to pet odors. Removing pet odors from a rental property can be difficult, especially if the tenant lived there a long time or the pets generated a lot of damage. To restore your property and get the pet odors out, here are a few tips from the pros that may help.

Assess the Damage

The first step to eliminating pet odors is to try and figure out what is causing them. Look for areas where the previous tenant’s pets may have urinated or defecated, such as on carpets, walls, or trim. You can also use a blacklight to help you find any urine stains. Please keep in mind pet stains can often penetrate below the surface and may be coming from carpet padding or even the drywall. If there is any visible damage, such as urine stains or torn-up carpeting, these will have to be dealt with.

Deep Cleaning and Odor Removal

After you’ve isolated where pet odors are coming from, it’s time to deep clean the entire house. Using a steam cleaner or hot water extraction method on carpets and upholstery can aid in getting rid of any remaining odor. Use an enzymatic cleaner specifically designed for pet messes on hard surfaces such as tile or wood floors. These cleaners break down the bacteria that cause odors rather than just merely briefly concealing the stench.

If the pet odor problem is particularly stubborn, consider hiring a professional carpet cleaning or odor removal service. These professionals have specialized equipment and techniques that can effectively tackle tough odors.

However, it’s important to note that even deep cleaning will generally just remove surface odors and may not completely eliminate deeper smells embedded in floors, walls, cabinets, or carpeting.

Repair and Replace

If the deep cleaning didn’t eliminate the pet odors, we may need to replace heavily soiled materials such as carpets, pads, subfloor, or even drywall and trim. This can be costly but may be required if deep cleaning isn’t enough to eliminate the odor. For example, if pet stains have penetrated through the paint on a wall, repainting probably won’t do anything to eliminate the stench. The same thing goes for flooring. In severe cases, you may need to replace sections of flooring, drywall, and trim to eliminate all pet odors completely.

Prevent Future Odors

Assuming you have reduced pet odors, it’s important for Sunset property managers to take steps to prevent them from coming back. For future tenants with pets, require them to use odor control measures such as pee pads or regularly cleaning up after their pets outside. It’s also a good idea to routinely deep clean carpets and upholstery, even if there are no pets in the rental property. This can help prevent odors from building up and becoming a problem in the future.


Overall, getting rid of pet odors in a rental property can be difficult. Still, with deep cleaning and potentially replacing heavily soiled materials, you can restore your property and make it more appealing to potential tenants.


If you’d rather not deal with issues like stinky rental properties and pet addendums on lease contracts, Real Property Management San Francisco has your solution. We’re the local property management experts who can help your Sunset rental investment thrive. To learn more about our services, contact us online.

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