Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Vermin in Rentals

We have already seen evidence of rats in Bellingham's rentals. My blog entry on a house on Grant St. covered that topic a while back. (Click here to read that horror story.) Now additional accounts of vermin in rentals are coming to our attention. A recent article in the Western Front spoke to the problems students are encountering in their dorms and rentals not only with bed bugs but also with the mites that cause scabies and bacteria that cause staph infections. (Click here to read the Front's story. You can also read about bed bugs, mites and staph by clicking here, here and here)

These critters; bed bugs, mites, and bacteria that lead to staph infections, are difficult to eradicate so that many landlords and renters unwittingly pass them on to the next iteration of renters. Given the filthy conditions reported by renters in last year's survey of rental conditions in Bellingham (click here to read that report), the story in the Front is not surprising. The comments from those who took the survey contain additional stories of rat and flea infestations.

Rentals offered to the public ought to be spotless before the renter crosses the threshold. Especially important are clean rugs, floors and kitchen/bathroom surfaces. These items should be on the checklist of any decent inspection program for the safety and health of renters. The city of Pasco has sanitation as a category on its inspection form (Click here to see their simple form - right click on image and then enlarge). Bellingham should consider no less.


Anonymous said...

Mr Zonemaven

Obviously you do not share the landlord/agent concept that rats mice etc etc are just other types of pets that should be accepted by their renter/victims as recreational "assets"
May I remind you that City Council have very humane attitudes toward infestation in that they will do absolutely nothing about the subject since they constantly side step any action to control the real estate shambles which adds to Bellingham's blioght and citizens' discomfort.

Maybe you could get responsible action from council if you were to approach them on the need to control house fires so that "resident wildlife" suffers no harm because they seem immune to the cause of the students and other renters in their repeated rejections of any counter measures to the domination of special interests that are always eager to block progress in rental matters.

Zonemaven said...