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Tenant Odor: Solutions to an Awkward Problem

No one likes a bad smell. The problem? Odor is subjective. You might love the smell of fresh fish cooking, for instance, while your next door neighbor baking brownies might resent your salmon. While some smells are universally reviled (garbage, for instance), even a person's body odor can be, well, a matter of taste. So how do you handle complaints from tenants about smells emitted from another renter's apartment? Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management encourages patience, kindness and compassion when handling this potentially awkward problem.

 

The first step to taking care of an odor complaint is to identify the source of the smell. Perhaps a tenant is just cooking dinner and the smell will waft away after the meal is served. If the problem is ongoing, though, the solution will likely be a little more difficult. Try first to locate anything that might not belong in a given apartment: spoiled food, spilled chemicals, an animal carcass or a mold outbreak can all leech serious smell through shared walls. Should you locate a problem like this, simply call in reinforcements to help solve the problem.

 

Even scents that begin smelling lovely, like an air freshener, can turn sour if an apartment isn't properly ventilated. New carpeting, cleansers and other traditionally nice smells can cause headaches for some tenants if there isn't proper ventilation. Thankfully, the solution is simple: just open a window, get some fresh air, and consider better ways to ventilate in the future.

 

Another key solution to stinky apartments? Prevention. Ask your tenants and employees to be mindful about how frequently they are emptying their garbage cans. Ensure folks aren't blocking air vents needed for air circulation. Always store food properly and toss when it begins to go bad. Maintain house plants accordingly, because even the freshest of flowers can turn stinky if not cared for adequately.

 

How ever you handle tenant odor complaints, doing so with compassion and respect can help ease awkward conversations. No one likes to be told they smell bad, and since homes are an extension of ourselves, it pays to be careful when having these sensitive chats with tenants.

 

- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

No one likes a bad smell. The problem? Odor is subjective. You might love the smell of fresh fish cooking, for instance, while your next door neighbor baking brownies might resent your salmon. While some smells are universally reviled (garbage, for instance), even a person's body odor can be, well, a matter of taste. So how do you handle complaints from tenants about smells emitted from another renter's apartment? Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management encourages patience, kindness and compassion when handling this potentially awkward problem.

The first step to taking care of an odor complaint is to identify the source of the smell. Perhaps a tenant is just cooking dinner and the smell will waft away after the meal is served. If the problem is ongoing, though, the solution will likely be a little more difficult. Try first to locate anything that might not belong in a given apartment: spoiled food, spilled chemicals, an animal carcass or a mold outbreak can all leech serious smell through shared walls. Should you locate a problem like this, simply call in reinforcements to help solve the problem.

Even scents that begin smelling lovely, like an air freshener, can turn sour if an apartment isn't properly ventilated. New carpeting, cleansers and other traditionally nice smells can cause headaches for some tenants if there isn't proper ventilation. Thankfully, the solution is simple: just open a window, get some fresh air, and consider better ways to ventilate in the future.

Another key solution to stinky apartments? Prevention. Ask your tenants and employees to be mindful about how frequently they are emptying their garbage cans. Ensure folks aren't blocking air vents needed for air circulation. Always store food properly and toss when it begins to go bad. Maintain house plants accordingly, because even the freshest of flowers can turn stinky if not cared for adequately.

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