So, I posted about how I could not find a home to rent because we could not afford it. Now, we've found one at a price we can afford (wow), but the tenant is a smoker.
How would one get that smell out?!
I already plan to ask the landlord to professionally clean the air ducts. I am at a loss. I desperately want to rent this home, good neighborhood, hardwood floors, dry basement, garage, YARD, cute old cabinets and woodwork in the eat in dining area.
Cleaning the air ducts would be a good first step. Replace all air filters for the HVAC. Fresh coat of paint on the walls. If the cabinets and woodwork are painted, new coat on those too. If the cabinets and woodwork are not painted, but stained, redo that. I'd also want to sand, stain and re-poly the floors. If you're handy, you can do these things yourself if landlord doesn't want to pay for a professional to do it. Maybe he/she could pay for supplies. In fact, they should... if they want their property rented. If there are curtains or anything fabric-like in the house... get rid of it. Open the windows and air the place out if it's not too cold. In the spring definitely do this and air it out any chance you get. Clean all light fixtures and windows thoroughly, as they probably have a smoke film on them. That will help. Unfortunately, you won't be able to remove the smell 100%. Smoke gets into sheetrock, wood, attic, insulation etc. Unless the house is going to undergo a full renovation, the smell will linger. Over time, you'll get used to it. Also, incense, scented candles. Clean the crap out of the place before you move in.
You could also take the 1950s approach--spring and fall cleaning with the old fashioned, somewhat toxic-like baking soda/ammonia/vinegar water. Wash all the walls (bottom to top), ceilings, cabinets, windows, closets, floors, etc. with it. I've been able to get the smell out with that stuff. Don't repaint until there's been a good wash. That stuff comes through paint. I kid you not. Drooling down the bathroom walls, right through a fresh coat. Yucky.