Bed Bugs and the Law

Throughout Canada, bed bugs have become a steadily increasing problem over the past number of years, and this has led to some concerns and queries as to who is responsible for the cost of extermination. Covering the cost of extermination has become an ongoing battle that is waged between tenant and landlord, leading the provinces of Canada to step in and take the lead. With the varying laws across the different provinces, many municipalities have had some difficulties regarding any legislation outlining who the responsible party should be regarding this responsibility. Many of the bed bug cases that are brought forward nowadays are brought before a landlord-tenant arbitrator. This is done in order to ascertain the original source of the infestation. Individuals and landlords alike are advised to consult their local municipalities regarding their bed bug registry, as well as their local landlord-tenant agencies for any recommendations. Below, are some quick guidelines, per province, for anyone in Canada struggling with bed bugs.

Newfoundland and Labrador – Both landlords and tenants are encouraged to resolve this issue themselves, if not, a mediation process may be conducted by a residential tenancy branch.

Nova Scotia – There is no definitive legislation regarding bed bugs in Nova Scotia, and the related infestation costs will fall on the tenant, only if the landlord can prove they were brought onto the premises. More often than not, the landlord, in this case, is stuck with the bill, as proof of introducing bed bugs into the environment is often near impossible. Hearings can be conducted if the landlord refuses to fit the bill.

Prince Edward Island – Individual cases are dealt with by the director of residential property deals.

New Brunswick – Similarly has no solid bed bug legislation, and these issues are handled by the rental and consumer affairs department. Landlords are held liable if tenants can prove the bed bugs were there originally.

Quebec – Unless tenants have definite proof they did not bring the bed bugs to the residence, they are stuck with the costs of extermination. It is, however, the responsibility of the landlord to ensure they do not spread.

Ontario – Laws here do not cover bed bug invasions, landlords are however responsible for the health and safe dwelling of the residence, while tenants are expected to maintain general cleanliness whilst occupying the premises. Landlords are often happy to foot the bill to prevent the problem from spreading.

Manitoba – Landlords are required to rid the property of all pests, including bed bugs, while tenants are responsible for the general upkeep of the property, as well as the prevention of the spreading of bed bugs and other pests.

Alberta – Tenants with bed bugs in Alberta are required to report this to the regional health authority as this is in violation of the public health act and housing regulations. Health inspectors will assess the problem, in which landlords are most often the ones that have to pay.

Saskatchewan – Each bed bug case here is brought before a hearing, headed by an arbitrator. The onus of proof as to who brought in the bed bugs is the goal here. Whoever is responsible is the one that has to pay to have them removed.

British Columbia – Even though bed bugs are not mentioned specifically in the Vancouver residential tenancy act, the provinces by-laws state that the landlord is solely responsible for the removal costs of infestations. For further information, the Tenants’ Rights Action Coalition can be contacted for further information.

Dealing with Bed Bugs

With bed bugs problems seemingly on the rise in Canada, having some on-hand information is going to come in handy when you have to face this kind of situation. Truly Nolen Pest Control has all the knowledge and expertise that you are going to need to quickly and effectively rid your residence of nasty and unwanted bed bugs. Stop fighting and simply start winning your pesky pest battles today.