Condominium Boards have a fiduciary responsibility to abide by the Provincial Condo Act and their Corporation Declaration, By Laws and Rules – one of which prohibit unit owners from unreasonably interfering with the use or enjoyment of other owners.
A huge problem in condominiums is cockroaches so if the Board of Directors ignores a plague of bugs in common areas for a extensive time and those cockroaches find their way into Unit Owners suites it would certainly interfere with the people’s “use and enjoyment” of their unit! Sadly many Condo Boards don’t want to admit the blame and prefer to shift the blame to the Owners.
Section 90(1) of the Condominium Act states that owners are responsible for maintaining their units (unless responsibility for maintenance is shifted to the corporation pursuant to section 91), and section 117 states that no person shall permit a condition to exist if the condition is likely to damage the property so considering infestation of pests, roaches, mice, rats etc. find their way into the main level common areas of a Condominium Corporation prior to hitting the unit units in a building it stands to reason that all Board of Directors, Property Management Companies and their Property Managers need to address all infestations fast and effectively immediately.
Individual Condo Board policies do exist, Owners can exercise their rights under the Condominium Act in Ontario which prohibits Condo Boards and Owners from allowing a condition to exist which will cause damage to the property, common elements and the Corporation overall. If there is a pest problem, they are obligated under Law they are required to report and address it.
Pursuant to section 17(3) of the Condominium Act, a corporation has a duty to take all reasonable steps to ensure that owners comply with the Condominium Act, Declaration, By-laws, and Rules.
The bottom line: if a unit owner alleges that there is a bug infestation in another unit which is spreading into her unit, the condominium corporation would have a duty to investigate and notify ALL unit owners. If the source of the bugs is found to in another unit and that unit’s owner refuses to deal with the situation, the Corporation must take steps to eradicate the source of infestation. Board of Director please
NOTE: Section 19 gives any person authorized by the condominium corporation the right to enter units upon giving reasonable notice, as long as it is to perform the objects and duties of the corporation or to exercise the powers of the condominium corporation. This would include entering a unit for pest control purposes. Unsuspecting Owners/Residents find themselves with a huge problem to control in their unit if the other units source is on the same floor, below and above. Condo Boards and Property Managers escalate the problem with their slow action to mediate the situation by refusing to contract Pest Control services throughout the entire building. This delay especially once they know the origin and simply do nothing about the building as a whole is a massive issue. Why would a Board do this intentionally, we have received several statements stating Boards are holding back services on pest control and on chemicals in key areas of the building like the garbage rooms etc. because they wish to save costs on their budgets. Public Health needs to be advised of this negligence and we recommend that all Condo Owners make a point of requesting full disclosure on Condo Budget in relation to all monies spent relating to Pest Control, chemicals for these key areas. Many times these costs are hidden in the overall cleaning of the building when in fact it should be a separate item.
Toronto Public Health has reported a recent increase in bed bugs in the City of Toronto and various other municipalities. Multi-unit dwellings, condominiums are high-risk locations for cockroaches, mice, rates (rodents), pests, bed bug infestations. and other existing bugs in the City. If your Condo Corporation Board of Directors has authorized any Pest Control company to spray common areas in the building, in particular your garbage and storage areas, utility rooms, superintendent areas, back alleys, anywhere in the main levels and underground areas be assure you have the culprits in the building and it will take serious concentrated efforts and several visits from Pest Control companies to gain control. Sadly most Condo Corporations, Board of Directors and Property Managers delay the action process so by the time a company is called, the roaches, insects, rodents alike will already travel into Owners/Residents suites and the problem has began.
If there is bug infestation in a unit from another unit, the condominium corporation must investigate. If the source of the bugs was already in the main level of the Corporation and Pest Control was called for those areas they Need to Take IMMEDIATE STEPS to eradicate the source of infestation.
CALL TORONTO PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND REPORT YOUR CONDOMINIUM
Toronto Public Health
Mon – Fri, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
(closed on statutory holidays)
Emergency After Hours
To report a public health emergency after hours and on statutory holidays. Please ask for the on-call Public Health Manager.
Telephone: 311 (416-392-2489)