Rats? You gotta be kidding me

These furry, grey or black creatures distinguish themselves from their smaller counterparts, mice, by their size- the average rat is about 1 pound or half a kilogram in weight but can grow to be much larger. They generally have longer and larger tails as well. While it is not considered an urgent and necessary situation, it is your landlord’s responsibility to arrange an exterminator for any rats in your apartment.


  1. Call your landlord and inform them that your apartment is infested as soon as you see a rat; do not wait for it to go away and do not wait until you see more than one. Once notified your landlord must act immediately to correct the problem; this may require your landlord to hire an exterminator that can completely eliminate all of the rats.
  2. In the meantime, place any food that may come into contact with the rats in sealed food containers.
    Tip: this is a generally good practice to prevent any pests from chowing down on your food.

    If your landlord does not act or the problem persists with extermination or traps:

  3. Write a demand letter and send it through registered mail requesting further action for the removal of the pests.

    If problems persist:

  4. Open a file for a hearing at the Régie du logement.
  5. Fax your local municipal city inspector the demand letter you sent your landlord.

For more information consult this handout on Rats and Mice from the Government of Canada.


I’m pretty sure the rats are coming from my neighbour’s apartment, what should I do?

When the extermination is performed on your apartment the exterminator should be prepared to exterminate the whole building. If the exterminator or your landlord don’t deal with the entire building’s rat problem you can contact the city inspector who will find the rats in any adjacent dwellings.

Can my landlord intervene at any point during this process?

Yes, your landlord can intervene. They are allowed to intervene even if you were the one who called the exterminator.

What if I send my landlord a letter but not through registered mail?

This will not count as an official complaint nor as officially notifying the landlord. This means that within the legal process it is as though you have not said anything i.e the problem does not exist.

Can I ask to be reimbursed for any damaged items (contaminated food) in my apartment due to the pests?

You can always ask your landlord for compensation in your demand letter. If they refuse to compensate you for any damages you can request for a hearing at the Régie du logement and the  tribunal will then decide whether or not you should be compensated.