Home Buying in 22911>Question Details

Elizabethsch…, Home Buyer in Charlottesville, VA

Is it insane to buy a rental property that has cat urine smells? What's the cost to fix that?

Asked by Elizabethschrank, Charlottesville, VA Sat Feb 25, 2012

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Sara Greenfield’s answer
Throw out the carpets, paint the walls with low VOC paint and make sure the floors and subfloors as well as the sheetrock show no mold, mildew, or rot. Replace the mold, mildew or rot, and go from there. If on a crawl, check underneath for same...IT can be a bit much, but usually the homes value reflects this defect, which can be repaired,with wonderful outcomes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 3, 2012
a couple of good answers from agents here.
Quick Question for you:

What did your Buyers Agent tell you when you asked them?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 25, 2012
The best would be to find a professional carpet cleaner in your area, most of them do a wonderful job to remove pet urine smells. Google it if you do not have one that you know. Here is one I know But I guess it's far away from you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 19, 2016
If you’re planning on painting the interior of your new home consider adding the ionic paint additive to the paint, turns the walls into a permanent air purification system. The ionic additive will keep your home free of odors and toxins one treatment will remain effective as long as the paint on the wall surface is intact. http://ionicpaint.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 7, 2015
If you’re planning on painting the interior of your new home consider adding the ionic paint additive to the paint, turns the walls into a permanent air purification system. The ionic additive will keep your home free of odors and toxins one treatment will remain effective as long as the paint on the wall surface is intact. http://ionicpaint.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 7, 2015
You would likely have to change out carpeting if pet urine has dried in it. Shampooing with chemical cleaners only makes it worse and it keeps coming back. It is possible to remove the odor by thoroughly cleaning, deodorizing and replacing with new carpet however.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 12, 2015
The cost to fix that would just be the cost of really effective cleaning. You're going to want your ducts cleaned, carpets cleaned, walls thoroughly washed, etc. It could be a lot of money, but if the home is worth it then I'd say go for it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 4, 2015
Yes, it is insane to buy a property with cat urine smells.

I have managed the odd puddle here and there after 50 years of cat owning. The tenants did not, and now it's into the wood, etc. Cats do this when they are distressed, ignored, or have a territory dispute. And even if you think you got it all - bleach, etc - the next tenant may also have a cat that becomes distressed because her little nose can smell it.

There is no easy fix for this, and that is coming right off your offer - including your down time to fix it (when you should have been getting rent.) We are talking MAJOR reno - no cute little environmentally friendly fixes here. Insurance firms know firms that can fix it, but let somebody else do the easy fix. You don't want to fix what they overlooked a year later.

Another reason to take the high road is because neglected cats can pick up infections that can be passed on to humans. You REALLY don't want to be involved with litigation from a pregnant tenant. Do the right thing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 19, 2015
Why do agents continue to answer questions that are several years old?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 16, 2014
It might be a better idea to purchase a rental that comes with a guarantee. I have a number of properties in the area starting at $113/SF that we can guarantee rental income, turnover cost, warranty work (many of them are new homes we built), and property management for 5 years. We just recently created a package for investors. Call me to talk.
Jeremy Vogan
540 487 0480
Lofton Leasing, LLC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 16, 2014
Being a painting contractor, we run into a lot of re-sale and rental homes with pet, and tobacco smoke odors. Painting the inside walls will not remove the odors as they are impregnated in the carpet, carpet pads, and walls making the home harder to sell or rent, looks good smells bad. We have used an ozone generator, which worked well, but the house had to be vacated during the operation slowing the work schedule. Contractor mentioned a product called Air-ReNu, which you mix with the paint. Works like a charm, no odor, no electricity, no filters and no problems. It might be something to consider if you have an odor problem, their web site. http://www.air-renu.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 27, 2013
Wrong internet address, http://www.ionicpaint.com
Flag Sat Jul 11, 2015
The smell of cat urine should turn you on! It drives the price WAY down. Carpet and pad are cheap. Plywood is cheap, labor is cheap. You'll easily cover the cost with your negotiated discount.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 17, 2012
All depends on the price of the home. It just takes money. ;)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 11, 2012
We've had good luck with Nature's Miracle. Also, I have a professional carpet cleaner "Heaven's Best" be able to remove the smell in one home. However, in really bad cases, throw out the carpet and the pad. and paint the sub-flooring with kilz.

Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 19, 2012
P.S. An air purification machine is a joke.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 19, 2012
Cleaners, bleaches, solvents, etc, Natures Miracle, none of those work on strong set in cat urine smells. The only thing to do is trash the carpet and either replace the plywood underneath or paint over it with a few coats a special paint made for getting rid of smells like this and then replacing the carpet. Even that might not get rid of it all the way.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 19, 2012
Elizabeth, any pet oder can be masked with all kinds of solvents. They work- for a while but are not permanent . If you have not identified the area where the cat relieved itself, my guess it is in the carpet and in to pad. If I am correct, you should remove both. If the urine is on hard surfaces, that can be cleaned with strong Clorox or similar cleaner and with a good airing out, the order will fade. Think of it this way; if you have tried every cleaning method and the smell is still there then it is likely you need new carpet, new pad, new window treatments if they ate cloth and a paint job! No one will want to live where yet here is cat urine oder in a home. In fact, your rent will be affected and so will your resale value.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 26, 2012
Another product you can use is called Natures Miracle you can purchase it at any pet store, not too expensive and works very well. I used it in a house that had 6 dogs, on the floors, walls and carpet, does not matter is works and you can buy it by the gallon.

Best wishes!
Web Reference: http://www.TheBeachLady.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 26, 2012
There is air purification device that actually changes the molecular level, so it gets rid of the smell, not filters it. I know this works, we have used it in a room where the owners had 4 cats and three litter boxes, it removed all the odor. I can send you more info if this might be off interest, it cost about $499. Also works on smokers, gease odors. Please contact me at rktatem@gmail.com. A short write up:

Incorporating photo catalytic oxidation technology, high level negative ionization, safe levels of ozone, and electrostatic filtration, the GT3000 reduces particles and inactivates microbes thus providing a cleaner, healthier environment for you and your family.

Using four advanced technologies, the GT3000 helps to eliminate Odors, smoke, pollen, dust, bacteria, mold, pet dander, viruses, and much more. Noticeable pollution is eliminated in as little as 15 minutes, and the most difficult pollution in as few as 24 hours.

Unlike other air purifiers that have only one or two ways of eliminating pollution, the GT3000 has four advanced technologies to destroy pollution from the air, embedded in walls, ceilings, floors, carpets, furniture, clothing, on counter tops and other surfaces. These technologies help to sanitize everything in the house and reduces or eliminates all odors, including cigarette smoke, mildew, cooking odors, and more.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 25, 2012
I would suggest consulting with a floor covering expert first for advice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 25, 2012
I'd certainly think twice. It depends on what the floor covering is and whether the urine has permeated the subflooring beneath. If it's vinyl on the fllors no big deal, if it's hardwood it could be very expensive as it would need to be replaced, If it's carpet it may require you to replace the carpet and padding unless it's also gotten into the wooden subfloor beneath in which case some or if may alos need to be replaced. You'll certainly want to factor this expense in when considering what you're willing to offer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 25, 2012
I know of a wonderful product that will get most pet smells out of any porous surface including wood and carpet. You can buy it at your local big box retailer. I am not sure if I am supposed to advocate products here, but I am sure somebody at Trulia will correct me if I have broken the rules. The product is called "Out". It's WONDERFUL for pet odors. It's a liquid that contains enzymes and other bio ingredients that literally break the urine down into something else. I used it after a tenant had a cat who left its mark all over. I had to get rid of the carpeting, it was just too big a job, but I was able to salvage the subflooring completely by pouring this product over the wood, letting it sit overnight and then vacuuming up the salt like crystals that formed. Yes, I had to put down new carpeting, but you would never know a cat had ever lived in the apartment.

As for being crazy, as long as the price is right buying rental properties righ now is an EXCELLENT idea. In my area there is an absolute fire sale on multi-family short sales. Furthermore our rental market is RED HOT! I am encouraging all my investors to look into Muilti-family Short Sale properties as an avenue for real, fast and substantial income producing properties. Yes, you will probably have to do some remediation (like taking care of cat odor), but if you are careful you will not only recoup your rehab money but you will have made a wise long term investment.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 25, 2012
Male cat urine odor is a curse. Insane may a bit strong, but it is very hard to completely remove. Certainly the carpets and padding have to be removed. Professional cleaning will not work. If there is a wooden sub-flooring then that also may have to be replaced. It there is a cement slab then the slab must be scrubbed and disinfected. Wait a few days before installing carpet to be sure the odor is completely gone. Good luck.
Web Reference: http://erealtr.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 25, 2012
Probably not as bad as smoke smell so long as you can identify the source. If it's throughout the house it will be difficult to get rid of completely. Pet stains on wood floors are often permanent in appearance even if the smell goes away. My suggestion is to expect that heavy duty scrubbing will take care of most of it, but not 100%. Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 25, 2012
Not at all, the bigger the problems - either real or perceived, the bigger the discount on the sales price should be. The majority of it is probably in the carpets and pads. If it has gone through to the sub flooring, kilz paint should do the trick, or just replace the sub floor - 4 x 8 particle board isn't very expensive. There is a good chance you will see the urine staines and will only replace the stained boards. If you paint, just get a roller and paint the whole sub floor. If there are other odors, a good duct cleaning will help clear a lot of that up - about $350. Just make sure they do the full cleaning with the scrubbing machine and antibacterial cleaner. Good luck.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 25, 2012
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