Residents at N.S. apartment fed up with bedbug problem
Emily Muise has lived in Harbour View Apartments for several years. But after dealing with bedbugs for the past year, she and her roommates have moved out.
Muise says the issue is widespread in the three Harbour View towers, and she is not the only one who's lodged complaints with the landlord.
“The runaround about how no one is liable for anything, and they don't have a system for what units are infested with bedbugs and what aren't,” she said.
Nova Scotia’s Residential Tenancies Act does not specifically address who’s responsible for cleaning up an infestation of bedbugs. But the act does say the landlord is responsible for keeping the building in a good state of repair and fit for living.
New Brunswick’s Residential Tenancies Act is almost identical, saying tenants can bring forward a complaint about the landlord if they feel an infestation is not being dealt with.
After reviewing the evidence, a landlord may be ordered to compensate tenants for the cost of extermination.
Pest control experts say it's difficult to control a bedbug problem in a large building.
“One thing you can do is seal up your apartment the best you can,” said exterminator John Zinck. “You know, a caulking gun – seal up your baseboards seal your pipe outlets.”
Without full cooperation and multiple treatments, bedbugs are some of the most difficult pests to eliminate.
“You have to work with the landlord [and] you have to work with the pest control company,” said Zinck. “It's a three-way team and if one of those members doesn’t want to cooperate, we will never get rid of a problem.”
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Sarah Ritchie.