The Best Way to Get Rid of Lingering Odours in Your Rental Property

In the complex world of rentals, odour removal is key. Nothing ruins a rental property like lingering odours and strains a landlord-tenant relationship. Particularly during the end of tenancy final inspection.

We explain how to get rid of odours in UK rental properties.

Common Odour Sources

It is the characteristic odours of British homes that make them unique. Dampness, mould, pungent aromas from cooking like curry and fish, pet odours, and lingering cigarette smoke are the usual suspects.

We’ll explore why these smells persist. We’ll see how the UK’s climate and lifestyle add to the challenge.

How to Eliminate Odours Effectively

  • One of the best ways to get rid of persistent odours is to deep clean. Clean soft furnishings such as carpets, upholstery, curtains, and other items thoroughly with specialised odour-neutralising products. Remember to scrub surfaces, floors, and walls to get rid of any odor-trapping particles.
  • Air purifiers are worth it. Invest in high-quality HEPA filters. These filters remove odour particles from the air. Place these purifiers strategically throughout your rental property to ensure comprehensive coverage. Use air purifiers equipped to capture smoke particles and neutralise odours. Regularly replace filters to maintain optimal performance.
  • Use natural odour absorbers. Vinegar, baking soda, and activated charcoal are all good. They neutralise unpleasant smells. Put bowls of these absorbents in areas where odours build up, like kitchens, bathrooms, and closets. Replace or refresh them regularly for continued effectiveness. To get rid of cigarette smells, first clean all surfaces. This includes walls, ceilings, and floors. Consider repainting walls and ceilings with odour-blocking paint for long-lasting results.
  • Paint the walls – If the odour persists, then you can repaint the walls. A thick coat of paint and primer can remove the allergens from walls and also eliminate the odour completely.
  • Proper ventilation – Improve airflow in your rental property. This stops odours from lingering. Kitchens and bathrooms need exhaust fans to get rid of odours from cooking and moisture. Additionally, encourage tenants to open their windows periodically to let fresh air in. The smell of mould or mildew is often accompanied by musty odours. Repair leaks and improve ventilation to fix the underlying problem. With a mixture of white vinegar and water, you can kill mould spores and neutralise odours. You can reduce indoor humidity and prevent mould growth with dehumidifiers.
  • Call an end of tenancy cleaning This is typical after having a tenant that is a heavy smoker. Professionals have special equipment. It will get into every corner and surely remove the smell. This may sound like a big investment, but it’s the only way to completely get rid of the lingering smell.

Implement Preventive Measures for Future Tenants

Set clear house rules. They should cover odour-producing activities like cooking, smoking, and pet ownership. Tell your tenants these rules. Make sure they understand the need for a clean, odour-free space.

To prevent cooking odours from lingering, ensure proper ventilation in the kitchen area. Install a range hood or exhaust fan to remove cooking fumes and odours directly outside. Additionally, encourage tenants to use lids while cooking and promptly clean up spills to minimise odour buildup.

  • Prohibit smoking. As learned throughout the post, smoking can completely ruin the smell in a property. The smell can be really strong, and it’s just hard to get rid of. Because of this, many landlords don’t allow smoking on their properties. Unless you prohibit smoking, you can designate certain areas in your property where tenants can smoke.
  • Do routine maintenance. Use a regular schedule to address smelly sources early. Schedule pro carpet cleanings. Also, schedule HVAC inspections and pest control. This will stop odour buildup. By staying ahead of potential issues, you can minimise the likelihood of persistent odours.


Let’s finish our journey. We’ve covered the science and practical steps of removing smells from rental homes in the UK. The importance of this process can’t be overstated, particularly during tenancy transitions. End of tenancy cleaning ensures a smooth handover between tenants by getting rid of odours meticulously.

Lastly, pro cleaners are vital. They leave a property pristine, ready for the next tenant.

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