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Old 06-07-2007, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Downtown Raleigh, NC
2,086 posts, read 7,239,550 times
Reputation: 1300

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After a lot of exhaustive searching, my boyfriend and I have finally found a duplex that we really love and is in an excellent location. But, as with most of the other rental units we've looked at, there is just one little problem that is actually a major problem. The current and previous tenants both had cats and my boyfriend is highly allergic to cats. While we were walking through today, he was already starting to react (the tenant and her cat have not yet moved out).

I'm wondering if anyone out there knows what kinds of steps are necessary to clean a vacant apartment well enough to eliminate the dander? The apartment has no carpet, all hardwood or tile/vinyl. Nothing made of fabric or soft material, such as curtains, will be left in the unit. I'm trying to get an idea of what is necessary so we can discuss with the landlord what steps he is and is not willing to take so that we can live there. We really love everything else about the property, this is all that is holding us back.

Thanks in advance for any advice anyone can offer!
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Old 06-07-2007, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Wake Forest
2,834 posts, read 11,438,745 times
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My advice is, it cannot hurt to ask what he is going to do. The difficulty you will face is with the heat and air, all of that stuff is sucked up in the returns, etc.

My guess is he does the basics and you guys may have to do the "above and beyond". The other thing to think about is are the air/heat filter units connected in any way to the other side of the duplex? I lived in an apartment that had a smoker next door and there were times I could smell that coming through the vents...........not always, but occasionally.

Something to think about.

Leigh
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Old 06-07-2007, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Downtown Raleigh, NC
2,086 posts, read 7,239,550 times
Reputation: 1300
Thanks, Leigh, that is some good advice I hadn't really thought of. I had actually looked at the other side of the duplex previously, and am pretty sure the other tenants do not smoke inside, thankfully. I am not sure whether the heating system is shared in any way, so I will definitely have to ask about that. I know there are separate a/c units for each side.

Anyone know anything about cleaning the ducts or anything else that might be necessary (and probably quite expensive...)?
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Old 06-07-2007, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Downtown Raleigh, NC
2,086 posts, read 7,239,550 times
Reputation: 1300
In the hopes of getting some more insight, has anyone who is allergic to cats or dogs moved into a rental unit that had these animals in them before? How did you react, if at all? Thanks!
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Old 06-07-2007, 03:39 PM
 
185 posts, read 944,792 times
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You need to get the ductwork vacuumed out. and not with a vaccum cleaner, with a big thing from the heating and air conditioning company that will suck out all the fur dander out of the heating/airconditioning vents. until that happens the cat's bassically still living there.

the problem is that it can cost $300 to $1,000 to have that done.

the other problem is that if you are in an apartment building where many appartments are serviced by the same heating airconditioning system, if any of the other tentants have cats, you might continue to have the problem if you're deathly allergic.

If he's that bad, he should consider getting allergy shots too.
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Old 06-07-2007, 04:06 PM
 
13 posts, read 120,958 times
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Default Find Another Place!

I have an adult daughter who is also allergic to cats. She has found that she cannot even enter a room where a cat has been prior, even if the cat no longer lives there and the room has been cleaned. The cat dander stays around for a long time in some not-so-obvious places.

We recently rented a condo in Hawaii for a vacation. There was a feral cat that lived on the grounds and who spent nights on one of the outdoor chairs on the patio. That exposure was enough to cause her a lot of distress.

As far as allergy shots go, they don't always work for some people and I wouldn't count on them to help in this instance especially since they can take 6-9 months to bring about improvement.

I think your best bet is to find a place to rent that does not allow animals of any kind. That way you can be REASONABLY sure that no cat was there prior (but some people do hide their pets).

Sorry for the allergies....I've watched my daughter live with them for many years and it's not easy to always manage them. She has found that avoidance of triggers is the best way to stay healthy.
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Old 06-07-2007, 04:44 PM
 
460 posts, read 2,325,015 times
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As a cat allergy person myself I say skip it. Keep looking till you find a pet free place. It only takes one bad reaction to send him into a life threatening scenario. Anaphylaxis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
It is worth it to pursue other places and not take a risk IMO.
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Old 06-07-2007, 09:40 PM
 
56 posts, read 320,797 times
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Default new apartment

....and there are many would be the most healthy, dander-free way to go.
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Old 06-08-2007, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Downtown Raleigh, NC
2,086 posts, read 7,239,550 times
Reputation: 1300
Thanks for the advice. Believe me, we have been looking a lot. It has been very frustrating. Problem is, too many places have carpet, which really harbors allergens of all sorts. And it appears that there are cat owners out there who readily sneak their cats into no-pet places and to avoid paying pet fees in units that actually do allow pets - that paired with carpet is a big concern to us. That's why we are looking at places with hardwoods.

The place we have been living for the past year is a newer large complex with carpet everywhere, and it stunk of cigarette smoke when we moved in, even though the carpet was steam cleaned. Also, I could tell that steam cleaning didn't even get all the hair out of the crevices, such as at the base of the vanity (yuck). It is obvious that some kind of animal lived there at some time due to scratches on the door jamb of the bedroom. My boyfriend hasn't had any problems here, his allergy does not cause an asthmatic or anaphylactic response (he has stayed with people who have cats before), mainly just typical allergic symptoms like itchy, watery eyes and lots of sneezing. However, we want to move to a different place because construction of the complex is so poor that we hear people talking at normal levels outside (from the third floor), so we are looking at smaller buildings and duplexes, many of which seem to be older. We have both lived in these types of places before without any problems, but without knowing whether prior tenants had cats.

I think he has decided to discuss his concern with the landlord (a private landlord/owner) and then figure it out based on the landlord's response. Meanwhile, our search continues. Thanks to all of you for your insight!
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