Student tenants are pestered with cockroach infestation

Photo by Luke Sarazin

Wilfrid Laurier University students allege they have been dealing with a cockroach infestation in their unit in a nearby Marq student housing building. 

The apartment building in question is located on 173 King St. N.  

The Marq has two other student housing buildings in Waterloo, but as of this writing, there is no indication that either has similar pest issues. 

Laurier student, Winnet Runshare, is one of the tenants who claims to be dealing with the infestation.  

Through an email to The Cord, Winnet alleged that her and her three roommates have been dealing with the pests since they moved into their apartment on Sept. 1.  

The Marq released a statement addressing the issue.  

We are aware of the issue in a unit in the Marq Waterloo communities and we immediately followed all necessary steps to deal with the situation accordingly,” the beginning of The Marq’s statement read. 

In an interview with The Cord, Runshare detailed some of the consequences of living with the pests. 

“It’s been rough. We can’t even cook, we have to eat out all the time … my roommate said she’s afraid to take showers because sometimes she finds them when she’s showering,” Runshare said. 

Runshare claimed that other tenants in her building have reached out to her to share that they’ve been experiencing similar pest issues; however, a statement put out by The Marq claimed that the pest issue is isolated to only one unit.  

“Someone messaged me a couple days ago on the third floor and they said they have the same issue, and then someone else messaged me … they don’t have cockroaches, but they do have beetles,” Runshare alleged. 

Regardless, the Marq specified in their statement that they would “be performing preventative treatments to surrounding units to decrease the potential of pests spreading.” 

For any tenants in Ontario who have persistent maintenance or pest issues that their landlord doesn’t fix, they can turn to the Landlord and Tenant Board, a tribunal with the capacity of handling such issues. 

In response to Runshare and her roommates’ initial grievances, The Marq sent an exterminator to their unit to clear out the pests. However, this apparently did not seem to solve their problem. 

In their desperation, Runshare and her roommates reached out to the media, and several stories were run on the matter, including one by CTV News published on Oct. 17.  

Since then, Runshare noted that the property management company sent people to their unit once again to alleviate their pest issue. 

“They just came in and did the same exact treatment they did last time, and that was it,” Runshare said.  

When asked about how the situation had changed since the CTV News story ran, Runshare didn’t mince words. 

“It’s actually gotten worse. I think it was yesterday my roommate found a dozen eggs in our kitchen,” Runshare claimed on Sunday night. 

For any tenants in Ontario who have persistent maintenance or pest issues that their landlord doesn’t fix, they can turn to the Landlord and Tenant Board, a tribunal with the capacity of handling such issues. 

Runshare indicated that her and her roommates intended on bringing their issue to the Board.  

The Landlord and Tenant Board adjudicates various disputes between landlord and tenants based on the rights and responsibilities for each party set out by the Residential Tenancies Act, provincial legislation that came into effect early in 2007.  

According to the Landlord and Tenant Board’s frequently asked questions webpage, if a landlord does not fix a pest issue after they have been notified of it, then the tenant can do one of two things.   

They can either file a form to schedule a hearing with the board, or contact their municipality to get details about the bylaws that govern their particular issue.  

The Marq has a preventative pest control contract in place with one of the most reputable companies, which provides regular inspections and conducts preventative treatments in all common areas.  Furthermore, our staff completes year round, detailed inspections of all units regarding life and safety, pest concerns, housekeeping issues, etc,” The Marq’s statement read. 

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