Infested bedbug rentals unacceptable, Tom Osborne says
Another bed bug infestation in St. John's has prompted a Liberal MHA to call for the province to create minimum standards — including the ability to report infestations.
St. John's South MHA Tom Osborne said a tenant of an attached house in the downtown area had to move out because bed bugs from the neighbouring apartment infested his unit.
"Whether you're a social worker, whether you're a neighbour, you know, whether you're a friend and you go in and you say you know this is just unacceptable living conditions, somebody can inform a provincial inspector who would then make a visit," said Osborne.
He said minimum standards are required that would force action to be taken regarding bed bug infestations in rental units.
"As opposed to sending a suggestion that you know we'd like you to deal with it, but it's got no teeth. Minimal standards would give the province and inspectors teeth to be able to say, 'You must deal with this.'"
"The place, in my opinion, should be condemned. It's infested with bed bugs and that's gone a long time untreated — and he continues to rent," said Dunn.
Dunn said people living with infestations and in unfit housing choose not to speak out.
"Well, immediately it came up why they don't speak out. Because they're immediately afraid because they're afraid that if they say anything they're like ... 'I'm going to lose my house. I don't want to lose my house,'" he said.
Meanwhile, the Newfoundland and Labrador government is in the middle of reviewing the Residential Tenancies Act.
A spokesperson said it is too early to say whether not minimal standards will be included.