Does Bed Bug Resurgence Warrant Change in Tenant Screening?

by | Sep 10, 2010 | Tenant Screening

ByKristen Fraser, TVS Staff Writer

A rising concern for landlords in the Vancouver, Canada area is the resurgence of bed bugs. Bed bug infestations are a costly and time consuming situation for landlords. A recent article in The Globe and Mail featured an apartment complex that plans to prevent the problem before it starts by building a sauna room for ‘de-bugging’ infected items. Heat seems to be one of the only proven methods of extermination.

Previous to these findings, landlords often found themselves reimbursing tenants for items they had to throw out, only to find bed bugs soon after.

The ‘de-bugging sauna’ rids residence of the bugs as well as their eggs, a likely cause for the bugs reappearance in homes. Because many of Vancouver’s subsidized housing facilities are having difficulties with bed bugs, they are requiring new tenants to use the sauna treatment on all of their belongings before moving in.

Is this the only solution to the problem or are landlords allowed to screen tenants for bug problems?

The Government of British Columbia’s Residential Tenancy Branch explains that there are no regulations against requiring the prospective tenants to provide a doctor’s note confirming that they don’t have any bites or bugs on them at the current time. This does not guarantee the prospective tenants won’t bring the bugs into your home, but is a step in the right direction.

If bed bugs are brought into a residence by a tenant it is their financial responsibility to rid the residence of the infestation. The landlord will be required to prove that they were the cause of the problem. Furthermore, if you have a multi-family rental unit the tenants deemed responsible for causing the problem will be financially responsible for any costs incurred by the people at the residence.

It has become common knowledge that tenant screening is necessary in reducing landlord risk. All landlords should be utilizing the variety of reports offered on in order to reduce the chance of renting to delinquent tenants. A detailed Landlord Checklist can be found in the rental forms section on the website. If you are a landlord in an area where bed bugs are an issue, such as Vancouver, you will want to add the required information to your checklist. Remember that conducting your due diligence when screening tenants will save you time and money down the road.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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