PENTICTON - Another former tenant of a Penticton rental house says he was forced out of the house because of rodent issues.
Bram Avery told Infonews he and his wife rented the house, located at 292 Kinney Ave., prior to Linda Childs, who moved out last month because rats were overrunning the property.
Avery says he and his wife left because of the rat issue, adding with a baby on the way, it wasn’t the place for a young family.
"While we were there it was quite a severe issue. Shortly after we moved in, the neighbour warned us about rats, and I didn’t think anything of it until the mice started to appear,” he says. "After the mice started appearing the rats started appearing as well, to the point where we would set traps out in the laundry room. We would put one down and they would go off, maybe five minutes later, if that. Sometimes they would go off at the same time, that’s how bad it was.”
Avery feels the landlords knew of the rat problem prior to his moving in and attempted to cover it up.
“Before we moved in they showed us the house. They were doing a bunch of touch up work, painting certain things and doing a bunch of clean up work in the kitchen. One day, they told us the people renting previously had left things in total disarray and left things destroyed, and that’s why they had to do touch up work on the inside. But what we found out from some people next door was they had quite an infestation and then they left, so I think all along they knew about it and they were just trying to cover it up."
The former tenant also feels the landlords didn't do proper maintenance on the house and instead looked for tenants rather than fix the problem.
"When the issue arose and I mentioned it to them later, they said the lady who had lived in the house previous to us was a baker, and blamed it on the fact she had left baking things on the counter and that’s why there was an infestation, even though that was a year before,” Avery says. "When we were there, it was quite bad. You know, you sit in the living room at night and watch mice run across the floor, and you can hear rats in the roof, you can hear rats in the basement. That’s how bad it was.
"When we moved out the insulation in the floor between the basement and the kitchen was all pulled down and full of rat droppings. It was quite disgusting. I told them I refused to clean any of it up.”
Landlords Primo and Marina Furlan were at the residence on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Marina attributed the former tenants’ complaints to 'landlord - tenancy issues,' noting neither tenant had issues about rodents until the Furlans’ approached them with issues arising from their respective rental agreements.
“The rat problem here is no better or worse than anywhere else,” both Furlans say.
Marina pointed to two rat traps in the backyard, adding she was trying to trap any rats that were there.
The City of Penticton does not have a bylaw specifically stipulating the control of rodents such as rats, but makes provision for covering off primary nuisances and attractants like garbage in its Good Neighbour bylaw. In the Residential Tenancy Act, however, landlords have a responsibility to 'repair and maintain residential property in a state of decoration and repair that complies with the health, safety and housing standards required by law, and having regard to age, character and location of the rental unit, makes it suitable for occupation by a tenant.'
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