While you've probably heard rental horror stories galore (did you catch the story about the cockroach that crawled into a tenant's ear?), there are a couple of tenancy tales that are simply nightmarish.
A woman who lives in an East Vancouver rental home responded to a recent call-out in a Vancouver Is Awesome daily newsletter asking for tenancy stories — the good, the bad and the buggy (plenty of rental horror stories are about pests).
For the purposes of telling her story, we'll refer to her as Nicole* (she has asked us not to use her real name for safety concerns). Her rental is located between Nanaimo St. and Victoria Dr. just south of Trout Lake.
Nicole says there aren't any rodents in her house but that several rats will pass through her yard at any given time. Unfortunately, her dogs and cat enjoy hunting the resident rodents and occasionally bringing the rat babies into the house, too.
And the rats come with guests. "They pass fleas on to my pets," adds the frustrated tenant.
When asked why the rodents swarm the area, Nicole notes that a neighbour a few doors down is to blame. "There's so much clutter in the backyard...and a chicken coop."
One night Nicole was at the home and says the yard was teeming with up to 20 to 30 rats. Someone shot one of the vermin with a BB gun and several of the others started cannibalizing it, she adds.
And the smell in the area is terrible, too. Nicole says some of the neighbours used poison to control the surging rodent population and the carcasses began to rot in the sun.
"Cooking carcasses. You know, it's really a nightmare."
A rat bit his finger in the night
Nicole deals with several rat-related issues but emphasized that they pale in comparison to her next-door neighbour's rodent horror story.
Adam* (he has asked us not to use his real name for safety concerns), 65, was diagnosed with colon cancer before he moved into the rental home. Since he was undergoing treatment while living there, he was unable to make repairs to the unit but adds that the yard was in awful condition when he moved in.
Located behind a SkyTrain station, he notes that the area is a big "thruway for wildlife," albeit not with the kind of animals people hope to observe.
"I don't know why this house is here. It should be condemned," he says of the rental home, adding that he cleans it constantly due to pests. "They crawl around; they jump around...they're unbelievable. I hear them in the walls. There is feces everywhere."
It isn't just rats, either. Adam says mice run rampant in the home, too.
How often does he catch a rat or mouse in the house?
"About every other day," he sighs.
Thankfully, Adam has purchased a camper van that he now sleeps in to avoid further encounters of the rodent kind. He's also moving out in a month.
What was the final straw?
A finger bite.
While he was sleeping at night Adam says a rat bit him on his finger.
"I went to the hospital; I was all freaked out. It drew blood!"
He adds that he screamed when it bit him but it ran away right after and he only saw its silhouette.