While they look adorable from a distance, raccoons have a penchant for wreaking havoc on homes in British Columbia.
The mischievous critters will often knock over garbage cans or sneak into places where food is stored. Since they are nocturnal, the clever bandits also conduct their affairs under the cloak of night, making it more difficult to prevent them.
According to Section 32 of B.C.'s Residential Tenancy Act (RTA), landlords are responsible for providing and maintaining their residential properties in a state that complies with the health, safety and housing standards required by law. In other words, they need to keep your pad pest-free or deal with pest issues as they arise.
Tenants also bear a responsibility to uphold the cleanliness of their rental units, too.
The RTA stipulates that a "tenant must maintain reasonable health, cleanliness and sanitary standards throughout the rental unit."
The BC Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) sees a range of complaints from landlords and tenants regarding cleanliness and pest issues — but it may surprise you how many of the disputes involve raccoons.
Raccoons urinating on the roof onto tenant's bedroom ceiling
In one dispute, a B.C. tenant claimed that she was terrorized by a family of raccoons that moved into the residence in the summer of 2012. The critters were living on the balcony and "caused damage to furniture and belongings" that was on it, according to the statement. The tenant noted that she made the landlord aware of the problem right away and that other tenants reported issues with the animals, too.
About a year after she first noticed them, the tenant said she started to hear the raccoons in the ceiling and that the sound started to intensify and resulted in "extreme noise three to six nights a week." The critters were reportedly "running and playing and making noise" that kept the tenant up all night.
In an attempt to cancel the noise, the tenant purchased custom earplugs and ran a fan. However, she said these attempts did not rectify the issue.
In addition to noise, the tenant also claimed that the raccoons defecated and urinated on the balcony. Further, she said that the animals were peeing on the roof onto her bedroom ceiling.
Overall, the tenant said all of the critter chaos resulted in a loss of peace and quiet during the tenure of her stay. She provided digital evidence of the raccoons on the balcony as well as the physical evidence caused by them. The RTB found in favour of the tenant and ordered the landlord to pay her $1,800 as well as $50 for her filing fee.