Roach infestation has city briefly consider rental inspections
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.