An Abbotsford man who looked at a rental home this weekend was so horrified by the mould and run-down conditions he witnessed that he is sharing photos of the residence as a warning to others.
Jason Jones and his wife found an ad on Craigslist for the four-bedroom home in west Abbotsford.
The couple and their two kids are in need of a new place because the rent in their current home is going up more than they can afford for their one-income family.
The rental home was being advertised for $1,600 a month, and they made an appointment to do a walk-through.
Jones said they were told that the home was ready to be moved into.
In the area’s tight rental market – the vacancy rate was listed at just 0.2 per cent in November – the couple was excited to potentially find a great deal that suited their needs.
But their excitement quickly turned to horror.
“We came across minor mould in each room, a rotten deck and old tenant stuff everywhere. Rat poo (was) in the bedroom,” Jones said.
He said the landlord was not willing to make any repairs, and wanted the tenants to move out after a year, with no lease agreement.
Jones said another family from Langley also came to view the home, and told him that the landlord owns another house in Abbotsford which they had viewed and which was equally as bad.
Jones, who said he has reported the situation to the City of Abbotsford, is dismayed about the situation because the high cost of renting a suitable – and safe – home seems to be out of range for many families.
He’s worried that someone will eventually end up renting the home because they have nowhere else to go, and will end up getting sick from the mould.
“I am trying to stop these things from happening to others. It’s not fair. It’s just going to get worse if they (landlords) get away with it,” Jones said.
Section 32 of the Residential Tenancy Act of BC states that a landlord must keep their property in a “state of decoration and repair that complies with the health, safety and housing standards required by law,” we all as making it “suitable for occupation by a tenant.”
Health Canada says the potential risks of exposure to mould include allergic reactions, wheezing and shortness of breath, symptoms of asthma, and eye, nose and throat irritation.
“Breathing in large amounts of these spores and the by-products they produce and negatively impact your health,” the agency states.