The next time you rent a home, I’d just like you to do something. It’ll take just a few minutes, I promise. Walk into the empty home. Take out your camera or phone and take some pictures of the empty home.
Smell the empty home. Does it smell clean and fresh? Take off your shoes and walk barefoot on the carpets. Do the carpets feel fluffy and clean under your bare toes?
Look in the bathroom – go ahead, really, look in the bathroom. Look in the shower – are the walls clean? There’s no people-goo on the walls right? Now…lift the seat of the commode…. Is the commode empty? I mean, aside from the water, is it empty?
Check out the walls in the home – are they freshly painted? Are the window sills clean? How about the fridge – when you open the door, what does it smell like?
There’s a lot of behind the scenes action that has gone on to bring you that nice, fresh home. Trust me. The former tenants did not just walk out the door and leave it that way. I don’t care if it’s a rental trailer, or a rental house; the stuff of nightmares has probably gone on in there before your arrival.
There was an eviction at one of our larger parks recently. They’d been a problem for a while, and we expected there would be issues. We were not disappointed.
Roaches. Bedbugs. Fleas. Garbage. Ruined carpets. They painted the bathtub – with house paint.
And there was a…. smell….
Even after the garbage and moldy food had been taken out. Even after the third round of bombing and spraying for bugs. There was this….odor. This undefinable…. odor…. that we just couldn’t seem to find the source of….
Now, the home needed work, aside from just the obvious sanitizing. Once the dirty, bug infested carpets had been pulled, we could see all the work that needed to be done to the floors. And of course there were holes in the walls that needed patching and once you start patching holes, you pretty much have to just paint everything.
Did I ever mention that pretty much all of our homes come with central heat and A/C? They do. There are a few older, smaller homes that just have window units for the A/C but not many. Most have the big heat pumps outside that handle the central everything. So, in every room there are one or two vents in the floor. We will be revisiting those vents shortly. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
There’s one large grate in the living room that acts as an air intake for the system, and the other smaller vents in the house are where the cold or hot air blow out of. There’s supposed to be a filter in the intake, which has to be changed once a month. Except in this home, not only was there no filter in the intake, there was a piece of plywood jammed in there.
Seriously, I’ve stopped asking why people do the things they do.
Anyway, since there was a random piece of plywood jammed into the intake, we figured we’d have the HVAC company we use come out and just look at the whole system so that there weren’t going to be any surprises down the line when we get a tenant in there.
Well, we located the source of the mysterious odor.
Getting back to those vents in the floors… They’re vents, folks. Vents. Not toilets.
So, please, the next time you walk into a rental property – take just a moment to appreciate the trauma that may have occurred in that home in order to bring you that nice, neat, fresh, clean place!