Tinker Realty / Bed Bug Infestation

Recently I rented a home from Tinker Realty.

Quickly this decision became my nightmare.

The previous tenants informed me of a leaking roof, and commented that the landlord, Judy Park, had acknowledged the problem but had neglected to have it repaired.

It became apparent to me that a leaking roof was the least of the problems I would encounter.

The house is infested with bed bugs; I’ve seen them hiking up the kitchen walls late at night. There is blood streaks down the bedroom walls, their molted ‘skins’ left all around the electrical outlets, even in empty, unused rooms, indicating that the infestation is quite well established, and has been for quite sometime.

My girlfriend woke up every morning covered in bites, until she couldn’t take it anymore and left. We still speak, but she refuses to come anywhere near the house we once called home. All my new furniture has been contaminated.

When I brought the issue up with Tinker Realty I was met with absolute disregard. When I first informed Judy of the bed bug problem she told me “No, it must be fleas” and that she would give me some insecticide.

It was not until weeks later, when i brought in a “trap” with the carcass of a bed bug that she finally came by and dropped off the insecticide, for fleas. It is actually against the law for a landlord to apply insecticides themselves, i am not sure about the legalities of providing insecticides… but either way, it was flea spray. The problem was clearly bed bugs.

When I returned to the office of Tinker Realty because the situation had still not been dealt with, I was calm and collected. I did not raise my voice or cause a scene. I was there merely to voice my concerns. Still, I was told by her assistant that I had to leave the office. They had no interest in hearing my concerns or offering any help. I pay my rent, and in return this is the treatment I have received.

The total disregard for my health and well-being was made very apparent. When I commented that the new furniture that I had purchased was now infested with bugs, Judy’s assistant implied that it was my fault for buying new furniture in the first place.

I have rented many homes before, and never have I ever encountered this degree of negligence.

Has anyone else had problems like this with Tinker Realty?

Please share.

phone northern health they might be able to help you with that problem. having a health inspector report them might propel them to fix the situation

Landlords don’t have to help you. They’ll always point their finger at you. I had them before and it took a year of sanitizing my house to get rid of them. We ended up leaving the place after we got rid of them though.

Under the Residential Tenancy Act, both the landlord and the tenant are required to ensure that the rental unit complies with health requirements:

32 (1) A landlord must provide and maintain residential property in a state of decoration and repair that (a) complies with the health, safety and housing standards required by law, and (b) having regard to the age, character and location of the rental unit, makes it suitable for occupation by a tenant.

(2) A tenant must maintain reasonable health, cleanliness and sanitary standards throughout the rental unit and the other residential property to which the tenant has access. < bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws … #section32 >

Those are also obligations in the Standard Terms that every tenancy agreement must include (if they are not in the agreement, they are legally deemed to apply).

Complying with health requirements includes dealing with bed bug infestations. If there is an infestation the landlord must to deal with it, including because an infestation may pose a risk to other rental units on the property. Unless the landlord can prove that the tenant knowingly introduced the bed bugs the cost of having a pest control professional remediate the problem is the landlord’s expense, not the tenant’s. It is hard to imagine circumstances where the landlord could prove that the tenant knowingly caused the problem.

If there is a bed bug problem, the tenant should immediately provide written notice to the landlord in accordance with the tenancy agreement.

If the landlord does not address the problem in a timely manner, the tenant should file a complaint to the Residential Tenancy Branch. This site and the links provide detailed instructions as to how to file a complaint, including for the tenant’s associated costs or losses < rto.gov.bc.ca/content/resolv … t.aspx#213 >.

The Residential Tenancy Branch has issued many orders and decisions concerning bed bug infestations. Reading some of the 394 past decisions should be helpful. There appear to be quite a few cases where landlords have tried to stick the tenant with the cost, but have failed.

search.gov.bc.ca/search?client=l … m=10&sort=