Cat Urine Smell

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    Cat Urine Smell

    Hi All, I am looking for some advise please. I've just rented a house and there is a very strong cat urine smell that is unbearable. The house stank when I viewed it but the previous tenant was still there at the time with the cats so I assumed the smell was coming from the litter box. I was informed the house/carpets would be professionally cleaned before I moved in. The landlord has had the house cleaned twice, including the carpets/laminate flloor but the smell is still there which they also acknowledge. The laminate flooring is due to be replaced but I am worried that it needs more than that as it seems to have seeped under the flooring. I have paid deposit and first months rent but have not been able to move in yet due to the smell. What are my rights, would I be able to cancel my tenancy at this point? I have 2 young children so cannot let them in the house with that stench as it is a health hazard. Any advice welcome, thank you :-)

    A nice story for any landlord who ever wants to let a tenant have a pet. You can do, but be prepared to bear the cost and charge a MUCH higher rent.

    I would buy about 200kg of bicarbonate of soda and spread it about 1cm thick on all the carpets and leave it there for two weeks. Then vacuum.


      Bicarbonate of soda is the way to deal with this as mentioned above - but if it has soaked through to the floorboard all floor coverings will need to be removed first & then replaced once the floorboards have been scrubbed.

      The smell, whilst unpleasant, is not a health hazard if the floor coverings have been cleaned but I think probably the property needs new carpets / laminate throughout after treating the floorboards. The LL should be claiming from the previous tenant.

      As to your rights - I'm not entirely sure. If your LL acknowledges the problem they may be prepared to sort it out - clearly it won't let again until it is sorted, so you best bet maybe to say you are happy to move in when the problem is sorted & change the start date on the tenancy, with your LLs agreement. I would certainly not move in until you are happy it is sorted.

      Others here may know your legal rights, but it sounds as if the property is unfit to be let at present.

      Good luck


        If there is no health hazard, I would have thought it was lettable, but with significantly depressed market rent.


          Cat urine is a health hazard.
          Whether it's serious enough a hazard to make a property uninhabitable isn't something I know enough to comment on.

          On a practical level, the flooring and carpets need to be replaced.
          Bicarbonate of Soda will dry out the carpets and floor and kill the smell eventually, but not all of the toxic elements of the urine will be removed.
          Most of them will die off in a relatively short amount of time (and are possibly mostly gone already), but bacteria and germs are remarkably hardy things.
          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


            It might be a good idea to find out where exactly the cat pee is using a UV light. Then treat with bleach multiple times. There are cat urine eliminators out there but I have never found them effective. Eventually the smell will go but I thoroughly recommend the bleach method.


            Freedom at the point of zero............


              Originally posted by Interlaken View Post
              It might be a good idea to find out where exactly the cat pee is using a UV light. Then treat with bleach multiple times. There are cat urine eliminators out there but I have never found them effective. Eventually the smell will go but I thoroughly recommend the bleach method.

              I have the UV light and found it doesn't work. My pita dog keeps peeing at the top of the stairs (she's now banished to the kitchen at night). I find that an electric carpet cleaner works best. I use the cleaning liquid and actually pour it onto the wet patch and vac it up immediately. Repeat and the wee is all or at least mostly removed. If it's not all gone I use Wee-Away spray.

              I use that expanded foam underlay in tenanted properties. I don't know what it's called but it's black and really cheap. It prevents liquids from reaching the floorboards. You have to use spray glue to stick it to the floorboards. I think I need it in my own house!


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