We’ve had several tenants call to request we send pest control to eliminate bed bugs or fleas. I do not consider that this is a maintenance issue as it is usually a result of the hygiene of the tenants or because they have untreated pets.
Although the Residential Tenancies Act does not address the issue of bed bugs specifically, bed bug infestations still fall under maintenance issues and the landlord’s obligation to ensure that the unit complies with health, safety, housing and maintenance standards. Please refer to the City of Toronto Fact Sheet on bed bugs at http://www.toronto.ca/health/bedbugs/pdf/rightsandresponsibilities.pdf.
My tenant has an infestation of bed bugs and the infestation is localised to that particular unit. I believe that the tenant has introduced the bed bugs to the rental unit. Am I still fully responsible for the pest control expense I incurred?
It is generally the landlord’s responsibility to maintain the rental unit which includes any problems with bed bugs and other pests. If a landlord is able to prove that the problem has been caused by the tenant wilfully or through negligence, then the landlord may make an application to the Board.
The Residential Tenancies Act requires landlords to maintain the property and ensure that it complies with health, safety, housing and maintenance standards. It is usually very difficult to prove how bed bugs were introduced to the rental property, therefore it is up to the landlord to take steps to correct the problem. To ensure the effectiveness of your efforts, a landlord will also need the tenant’s help and co-operation. Here is a link to the City of Toronto’s information about bed bugs, http://www.toronto.ca/health/bedbugs/factsheets.htm