Students living with mice and cockroaches praise plan to add 3 building inspectors

Mice, bedbugs and crumbling ceilings are just a few of the opponents facing three new building inspectors who will be hired as part of a pilot project to combat concerns from renters.

Some landlords argued residential rental licensing could scare away investors

Windsor City Council voted against setting up a system for residential rental licensing, but is planning to add three new building inspectors as part of a pilot project. (Jason Viau/CBC)

Rats, bedbugs and crumbling ceilings are just a few of the opponents facing three new building inspectors who will be hired as part of a pilot project to combat concerns from renters.

Windsor City Council voted against a rental licensing system during its meeting Monday night. Instead, the city will be spending $160,000 to hire three new inspectors to provide education for the next two years.

The project will target landlords who aren't following the rules, something international students living on Rankin Avenue, sometimes with cockroaches or other pests, said is sorely needed. 

"I had a bad experience," said Abdur Rahman. "The owner was not careful, the house was dirty, there were a lot of mice in it. He would not care, even if I called him a lot of times about it."

Abdur Rahman said there are mice in his house, despite calls to his landlord. (Jason Viau/CBC)

Gatima Hans had a similar story and said even after multiple attempts by her landlord to get rid of an insect infestation, she's still bunking with bugs.

"Sometimes it's frustrating, but you can't do much," she explained with a shrug.

The city suggests renters facing pests should call 311 so an inspector can come out. Tenants can also complain to the Landlord and Tenant Board with the help of Community Legal Aid.

Executive director Marion Overholt said the city has been too slow in responding to rental issues.

Marion Overholt, from Community Legal Aid said tenants in Windsor are dealing with bugs, rodents and crumbling accommodations. (Jason Viau/CBC)

 "They are really short-staffed so often those complaints and issues were not actioned immediately and tenants felt like no one was helping them," she explained.

Council voted against residential rental licensing despite a push by advocates. Some landlords argued it would create more red tape, scare away investors and the added costs would be passed on to renters.