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Penticton city council advised to take action on rat infested house

The deck of an unoccupied house on Cossar Avenue in Penticton is littered with trash and old food scraps. The property has attracted rats and a report scheduled to go before city council on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 asks for approval for remediation.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/City of Penticton
April 03, 2017 - 2:31 PM

PENTICTON - A Penticton property that has become a rat infested problem for its Cossar Avenue neighbours will be dealt with at Tuesday’s regular council meeting.

Bylaw Services officer Tina Siebert will present a report to council at the April 4 meeting, with a request to allow a remedial action order at 175 Cossar Avenue. The request follows a Feb. 22 complaint about the property by a Penticton Regional Hospital social worker who noticed rats on the property.

The residence had previously been occupied by an elderly man who not long ago passed away in the house and the owner, an elderly woman, has recently been placed in a care facility after being diagnosed with dementia. The property has since been vacant, and there is no other family to assist with the cleanup of the house and yard.

Neighbours have also been in contact with the City to do something about an increasing rat infestation which has resulted in health and safety hazards on the property.

According to a staff report, rats have chewed electrical wires in the house, resulting in the need to disconnect electrical services.

The city has hired an exterminator to assess the problem, who has concluded the residence now houses a well-established roof rat colony with adults and juveniles present. Eradication could take up to a year, leaving the building with dead rats in the walls.

The report also says the back deck is covered in food scraps and torn open garbage bags with old furniture are strewn about.

The City has been in contact with the public guardian’s office, who have said they would pay any reasonably incurred charges for remediation efforts. Any unpaid costs associated with the City’s efforts to clean the property would be billed back to the owner and added to property taxes if left unpaid.

Calling the circumstances surrounding the issue “unfortunate, especially when there is no known family available to assist,” the report calls it imperative for the City to assist with such situations so the nuisance conditions do not negatively impact surrounding properties.

Staff are recommending remedial action take place as soon as possible.


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