Archive for Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Roach infestation has city briefly consider rental inspections

November 9, 2011

A rental home nightmare that brought three homeowners last month to a Tonganoxie City Council meeting briefly had council members considering a rental inspection program.

At that Oct. 17 meeting, Gordon Cummings of 1425 E. Fourth Street told the council the neighboring house at 220 N. Village was infested with cockroaches to the point the pests were migrating to neighboring homes. The house is now empty with the renters’ move to another location in Tonganoxie.

An update shared with the council Oct. 24 was complimentary of the job the property’s owners did with addressing the problem. The owner has had a professional pest control service bomb and treat the home, which is now shut up for three months so that the treatment can be affective. The owner has paid the invoices for the treatment of five adjacent properties for pest control treatments.

These actions came after city codes enforcement officer Mark Lee informed the house owner in September the house was in violation of the minimum housing code and the house was posted as unsafe and unsanitary and as unsafe to occupy.

Council members were pleased Oct. 24 with the action of the homeowner but the situation prompted the council to earlier request Assistant City Administrator Kathy Bard look at rental inspection ordinances in other Kansas cities.

Bard told the council at that meeting she reviewed ordinances from Lawrence and Topeka, which she said would apply only to multi-family housing and not to single-family homes such as the one in this case.

As council members discussed that issue further, Councilman Chris Donnelly asked if the city should add more regulation in response to what seemed to be a rare situation.

Mayor Jason Ward conceded that point, but added problems with rental properties should be part of the city’s recent review of nuisance issues and that the city should look to tweak landlord/tenant ordinances.


Old_Vet 6 years, 7 months ago

Really? More regulation from the government. It doesn't matter if its federal, state or local, government regulation is generally not helpful, isn't cheap, and unwarranted. We got by for decades without all this need to regulate, wise up or don't serve, but we are tired of city hall demanding this and demanding that. They serve us, we do not serve them!


Paula Crook 6 years, 7 months ago

Old-Vet I'm really surprised that you would make a statement like that. I'm guessing that you are a veteran and served our government and followed regulation from our government. You should know better then anyone that we need laws in place to protect the citizens. I too do not like for the government pushing unnecessary regulation on the people but sometimes they are needed. I beleive this one is needed.

As for the Roach infestation. The city council are taking the correct actions to try to protect other neighborhoods that could be facing this kind of mess. I wish they could put something in place for all home but I know they can't.

I'm sure if anyone that lives in the city that has a neighbor that lives in that kind of environment and their living condition spills over to your home... you then would fill different about having some kind of regulation in place.

In this case I beleive the owner of the home did what they could and tried to help clean the mess up for the surrounding homes and their rental home, but their could be a landlord or home owner that would not even try or care. I for one would not be happy if my neighbors living condition would pour or migrate over to my home. "Especially with Roaches" I say that the city council needs to do what ever they can to protect us and our neighborhoods.


osur351 6 years, 7 months ago

The reason for laws, rules, and regulations is because some people are not HUMAN enough to do the right thing. They are to protect us from those who do not know how to conduct theirselves in a civil society. In this case the neighbors and renters from unsafe and unsanitary surroundings. Do you want this place next to you?


NavyMom 6 years, 7 months ago

RE: Paragraph 3: ..."the home, which is now shut up for three months so that the treatment can be affective. ." If that is the case why were all the windows open today on the property? Hmmmm. Unbelievable! I don't like regulations either but when we hear about 25 bags of trash in the living room alone were found, and that when one bag was put in the dumpster, split open, and thousands of roaches were seen escaping out of that one bag, we are not talking about a roach here or there, it had to be millions! We found out there are no laws in place for nearby homeowner's from this type of UNHEALTHY, UNSANITARY, UNSAFE, INHUMAN health hazard that recently occurred in the area. It appears that this is a way of life for this type of renter. It was just unreal! Hopefully, the owners of the property the renters moved too will be checking on their property while the renters are there because it has to be occurring again! It has been a nightmare for nearby neighbors to have to deal with the unhealthy disease spreading pests! I pray I never have to go through this type of nightmare again!


Old_Vet 6 years, 6 months ago

PaulaCrook, I disagree with your opinion. We have civil courts if the problem was such that the neighbors needed help or resolution. We don't need nor want the city coming in with its high hand and forcing a solution. It puts the city in a position to get sued. As a taxpayer and voter I do not want that liability taken upon without my consent. City government and city bureaucrats have to learn that their actions have second and third order effects that often are unfavorable. When a city budget report is submitted with errors the second order effect is that it reflects poorly upon the city and its elected officials. The third order effect is that the city manager loses his job for the error committed by his subordinate who failed to follow "regulations". I agree we need laws, but private property and the state dictating its use is a dangerous area that must be tread very lightly.


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