Pesky pest preparation
Most leases, including ONPHA’s sample lease, set out several obligations for tenants around pest control:
- Tenants must not do anything that would attract pests to the unit or bring infested such as furniture into the unit.
- If a tenant believes their unit has pests, they must report it to staff.
Tenants must follow the preparation instructions they have been given prior to treatment.
- Tenants must allow access for inspections (within reason) and treatment with 24 hours’ notice of entry
If your tenant is unable to prepare their own unit, you have a few options:
- The tenant can contact friends or family for assistance.
- If the tenant works with a housing worker or other social supports, they might be able to provide assistance.
- Where a tenant is not connected with supports, you can assist them to contact the CCAC or another suitable agency depending on their needs.
- There may be fee-for-service options available for the tenant.
- Your staff may be able to help the tenant, either without a fee or with a charge to cover the costs.
Where tenants are unwilling to prepare, the situation can be more difficult. Your goals in this case should be to keep the tenant housed and to ensure that their environment is safe and healthy.
First, consider whether the tenant might have a mental health issue and might require an acccommodation. Not all tenants who have a mental health issue will be interested in disclosing to their landlords. In this case an accommodation could mean being lenient with the tenant when they have not prepared and mitigating the problem with different pest control options, or partial treatments.
The tenant might also have a misunderstanding about the causes and solutions of the pest control problem they’re experiencing and may be more willing to prepare if they can fully understand the process. A conversation with the tenant and sometimes a walk-through of their unit to explain the prep needed may go a long way to ensuring future treatments are successful. If the tenant could benefit from the support of a family member or worker during that discussion, allow them to invite additional people to meet together with you.
On-going communication with your tenants on the expectations and benefits of inspections, as well as flexible accommodations are key to pest-free and safe environments.
ONPHA member resources: