Per­sis­tent pi­geon prob­lems ruf­fle the feath­ers of high­rise ten­ant

Ottawa Sun - New Homes - - HOMES - BY DICKIE & LY­MAN LLP

able wooden frame­work made with screen­ing. One is the safety ques­tion: would that re­mov­able ar­range­ment be a risk to fall off the bal­cony and hurt some­one on the ground be­low? Or to blow side­ways and break win­dows? An­other is the ap­pear­ance is­sue: the land­lord may fear that other ten­ants will also want to put up their own screen­ing and make the build­ing look like a hodge­podge.

How­ever, land­lords are re­spon­si­ble for the proper main­te­nance of the ren­tal com­plex and t he units (in­clud­ing the bal­conies) and en­sur­ing that your rea­son­able en­joy­ment is not sub­stan­tially in­ter­fered with. Con­se­quently, your land­lord is re­quired to take rea­son­able steps to pre­vent pi­geons from se­ri­ously in­ter­fer­ing with your use of the bal­cony.

Some­times the pres­ence of pi­geons is a re­sult of ten­ant con­duct. Other ten­ants could be caus­ing the prob­lem. They could eas­ily be con­tribut­ing to the prob­lem un­know­ingly. Since ob­jects on the bal­cony al­low pi­geons to hide and make nests, the more ob­jects a per­son has on the bal­cony, the more likely it is that pi­geons will roost there. Other ten­ants may be feed­ing the pi­geons. Also, the more ac­tiv­ity on the bal­cony, the less likely pi­geons are to choose to roost there.

You should re­port the prob­lem to your land­lord in writ­ing. It may be that in­creas­ing the level of ac­tiv­ity on the bal­cony and keep­ing ob­jects off the bal­cony when they are not in use may suf­fi­ciently con­trol any pi­geon prob­lem. If those steps do not work then it may be that in­stalling bird bar­ri­ers, such as net­ting, is needed to force the pi­geons to move to an­other site.

Af­ter a rea­son­able length of time, if you do not think your land­lord has taken proper steps to ful­fil his or her obli­ga­tions, you can make an ap­pli­ca­tion to the Land­lord and Ten­ant Board. You can seek an or­der that your land­lord do spe­cific work within a given time pe­riod or al­low you to in­stall the wooden frame if it is safe. To ob­tain such an or­der, you would need to bring ev­i­dence of the prob­lem and the spe­cific steps re­quired to ad­dress the prob­lem. That could be ev­i­dence from a health in­spec­tor or a pest con­trol con­trac­tor. You should also ad­dress the safety is­sue con­cern­ing the screen and how you plan to at­tach it.

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