Does Living in a High Rise Condominium Protect Us from Bugs and Cockroaches?

What I learned two weeks ago, even after 17 years invested in my Real Estate career, surprised me

Cockroaches600x400My client moved to Paris and decided not to come back to Toronto. She asked me to sell her condominium apartment, located in very good neighbourhood of Toronto. A beautiful suite in a prestigious building that is only a few years old. The unit is on a lower floor (not a ground floor) with stunning 12 ft ceilings. The condo was tenanted at the time. When I met with the tenants and asked why the kitchen utensils were all out of the cupboards, they informed me that the apartment was full of cockroaches, even after being recently treated. The condominium has a program to compost organic waste and this is why this building was infested with bugs.

I was terrified. In my 19 years living in Toronto, I had never heard about bugs in a good building. I know that it is very often a problem in rental building apartments, but condos? I was sure that condo owners were protected from such infestations.

After talking with tenants, I asked a few residents of the building if they were aware of this problem. All the people I spoke to lived on the higher floors and had no idea that the building was fighting with cockroaches.

Next day, I called the  property management office of the building to verify this information. A few days later, a property manager called me back and confirmed the information about cockroaches in the building. When I said that I have never heard about bugs in condos, she assured me that every single condominium in Toronto has them in their garbage room. She was very confident, adding that she knows this problem very well because she has worked in many different condominiums.

And this is in spite of a pest control company coming in every 6 month. When the City of Toronto implemented the new organic waste collection program, it may not have considered that it is almost impossible to not have bugs in and around a garbage room.

Of course, I do not know about every building in Toronto, but my Real Estate broker advice would be: never buy apartments on the lower floors, close to the garbage room.

I saw numerous flies from the garbage room last summer when selling a condo 10 floors above a garbage room. They are not a pleasant addition to your balcony!

Next time you decide to buy a condo, please call for a consultation to avoid costly mistakes. I’m sorry to have to share this less than pleasant article, but I thought it was important information for you to know.