Pesky Pests: What are my responsibilities?

Pesky Pests: What are my responsibilities?

Pesky Pests: What are my responsibilities?

  • Posted by Member Services
  • On June 20, 2022

Roaches come into your home in search of three things: food, shelter, and water. They have also developed the ability to use even the smallest of openings as an entryway into your house. They can come in through cracks in the exterior walls, dryer vents, or even the gaps between walls and floors. Cockroaches feel invited if there are dirty dishes left in the sink, food, and crumbs on the floor, excess moisture, garbage left in the unit, and pet food and waste are left around the unit.

We encourage rental housing providers to use a move-in/move-out form and take pictures of the unit before the lease begins. Stipulate cleanliness in the lease agreement, and conduct regular unit inspections. If an issue with pests is present, landlords and tenants have different responsibilities.

Duties of a Landlord

A landlord is obligated to maintain the residential property, and the services provided to it, in a good state of repair and fit for habitation, use and enjoyment, according to section 49 of The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 and section 8 of the Standard Conditions that are part of every tenancy agreement.

A landlord must act promptly and reasonably when a tenant reports an infestation of bed bugs or other pests. If not, the tenant may have to arrange for an exterminator and claim the cost from the landlord. If the problem existed in the suite prior to the tenancy or spread from another rental unit, the landlord will have to bear the cost of extermination, although the landlord may be entitled to recover the costs from anyone who can be shown to have caused the problem.

Duties of a Tenant

A tenant must maintain reasonable health, cleanliness and sanitary standards throughout the rental unit, also under section 49 of Act and section 8 of the Standard Conditions.

Tenants must co-operate with the landlord, exterminators or professional pest control companies when they attend to treat an infestation, and must comply with instructions to prepare the rental unit for treatment. If a tenant does not co-operate, eviction may be necessary to address the infestation. If the tenant caused the problem, the tenant is responsible for the cost of extermination, not only in their own suite, but potentially for the costs to treat other rental units, especially if the problem has spread because the tenant did not inform the landlord promptly or cooperate with an exterminator.

If, however, the infestation constitutes a breach of a material provision of the tenancy agreement by the landlord, the tenant may give written notice of at least one day and end the tenancy. However, before the tenant ends the tenancy, the landlord must be given a reasonable period of time to remedy the problem under section 56 of the Act. The tenant may also file an application with the Office of Residential Tenancies (ORT), and may request an expedited hearing to deal with the matter promptly.

Poulins Pest Control is a service member with SKLA. Since 1946, Poulin’s Pest Control has been providing the highest quality of pest control services. They are central Canada’s largest pest control firm, with offices in Regina and Saskatoon, and offering service to all areas of Saskatchewan. They specialize in bedbug control, cockroach control and rodent control, as well as any other pest issues that property owners may have. Saskatoon Contact: Shawn Sherwood (306-757-0323) or Regina: Tim Pawliuk (306-242-5229).