The Lingering Smell of Cigarettes: How to Get Your Bond Back When You've Been Allowed to Smoke Inside

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If you were permitted to smoke inside your rented home, it's not a given that whomever will move in after you will also be a smoker. Even if they are, chances are that they wouldn't be overjoyed to know that the previous tenant was a smoker. But nobody will ever know if you remove all traces of the fact that smoking was permitted inside the property. Getting your bond back can potentially be more difficult when vacating such a property, due to the lingering effects of smoking indoors. Specialist bond cleaning can become arguably even more important in this instance, and while a little more effort (and assistance) can be required, there's no reason why your bond won't be returned in full.

Carpets and Upholstery

One of the most important factors in this type of cleaning is the removal of cigarette odour from anywhere it might have been absorbed (and accumulated). You might not even notice such a smell, but chances are that your landlord will. A deep, thorough carpet cleaning is mandatory, and it's best to get professional assistance from a bond cleaning company. This will ensure that your carpets are not only cleaned, but effectively deodorised, using specialist equipment. If the property was furnished, the cleaning company will also clean and deodorise all the upholstery in the property. Ask the bond cleaning company if they can also remove and clean the curtains. If this isn't possible, take them down yourself and bring them to a drycleaner.


When renting out a property where smoking is permitted, there might have been a few additions to your tenancy agreement, so now is the time to locate it and read it again. If repainting the walls was a condition of tenancy, you will need to make these arrangements. If repainting was not stipulated, the walls will still need to be cleaned and deodorised, since that lingering smell of cigarettes could still jeopardise the return of your bond. It's possible to clean and deodorise your walls using heavily diluted, non-sudsing ammonia. Again, it's best to have a professional cleaning company take care of this for you, as it can be a delicate job and if repainting is not mandatory, you don't want to risk damaging the existing paintwork.

Air Conditioner

Is the property air conditioned? The filters might have accumulated a fair amount of odour, essentially circulating this back into the property when the air conditioner is operating. Remove and replace the filters (or clean them in warm, soapy water and allow to dry). Once this has been done, operate the air conditioner, allowing fresh air to be circulated inside the side, thus diminishing the last lingering scent of cigarettes before your final inspection.

So while some extra effort is required when moving out of a property where you've been allowed to smoke, it's really worth it in order to get your bond back.