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Condo, Strata and HOA News

Rats! You Dirty Stinking Rat!

Living in one of the few rat free places in the world, I never fully understand the devastation rats can have on a building or a lifestyle. These little beasties can chew through sheet metal and enjoy swimming through sewer lines and popping up through your toilet!

Now, I’m more concerned over those Norwegian rats (which the Norse must curse the name, as they did not actually originate from Norway), not those small mouse sized rats which have their own condominium developments.

In New York popular lore says there are 4 rats for every human inhabitant. This myth may become something more than true since the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene cut 57 of 84 full-time pest control positions in 2010.

Most condominium and HOA bylaws specifically forbid the ownership or breeding of rats. In this case, I’m fully behind this rule. I’m normally very open for owners to have pets of all types, but rats do pose a significant infestation risk in the case where they may escape. Sorry, I have a strong bias against rats. I highly suggest rat proofing.

I have the greatest sympathy for owners in developing nations. India and Bangladesh both have significant waste and garbage infrastructure deficits. A previous blog post highlighted a condominium corporation in India that initialized its own recycling program to cut down on local unlicensed dumping.

For Suhaila Majid of Titiwangsa Sentral Condominium in Jalan Cemur, Kuala Lumpur, their back lot parking has become a community dumping ground for garbage. This has led to excessive rats invading the grounds.

Singapore residents near a nature reserve have extra visitors every day for their first floor units. The infestation has been going on since 2003, and includes home invasions as the beast go for the food.

For North American condominiums and HOAs, I would think that any long term infestation should show up on an Estoppel, and all exceptional infestations should show up on board minutes.

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