We’ve all been to a relatives house who keeps everything from trinkets and figurines to old newspapers and TV Guides. As the years go by and the “stuff” starts to accumulate, it is clear that person is surely becoming a hoarder. When the property isn’t yours, you may not put too much thought into all the stuff inside, but when a property management company has to deal with residents who are hoarding, there are many things, including fair housing laws, that come into play. Hoarders can have an impact as small as making a nuisance to creating health and safety issues for the property and other residents.
If your property management company is dealing with a hoarder there are a few tips to make the situation easier:
- Understand the Behavior: Hoarding is not just a bad habit, the behavior is obsessive compulsive and is a treatable mental disorder. This means they are protected under fair housing laws. Property management companies cannot discriminate against tenants with mental illness or disability and must make reasonable accommodations before threatening eviction.
- Messy vs. Hoarding: The difference between messy and hoarding is that hoarding can cause safety issues within a unit such as blocking exits, interfering with the sprinkler system, attracting pests, or creating health or safety hazards for other residents. While someone may be unclean and messy, these traits don’t always cause safety issues for the resident or others.
- Document Everything: Property Management companies have a duty to provide habitable and safe dwellings for their residents. If you suspect a resident of hoarding, you must document every instance of contact with the resident and both their own willingness to uphold their end of the lease as well as your attempts to make accommodations for the person such as offering to lease them additional storage space.
Hoarders can wreak havoc on a property and can be troublesome for private landlords to manage. To avoid these costly and complicated legal matters, hiring a property management company to manage the home you own is always a smart choice!