What to do when you discover a Tenant’s Hoarding Issue

Handling a Tenant's Hoarding Issue for Property Manager Insider

Learning that one of your tenants has been hoarding can come as a shock. Though hoarding isn’t your everyday tenant concern, there are laws and best practices that you should be aware of should you encounter this issue. It is a recognized disorder and can lead to very volatile and challenging situations. If you discover a tenant’s hoarding issue, here are a few best practices to keep in mind.

Confirm Your Tenant’s Hoarding Issue

If you suspect that a tenant has a hoarding problem, confirm that suspicion before taking any actions to resolve the issue. Give the tenant sufficient notice before visiting and inspecting the property. Confirm that there is a hoarding issue, and inspect the property for any damage that has occurred as a direct result of hoarding. If there are animals at risk or dangerous materials involved, it is acceptable to take immediate action by contacting the appropriate local agency, such as animal or poison control. Once you have confirmed a hoarding issue, contact a real estate lawyer to advise you before making any promises or demands.

Be Understanding and Compassionate

According to the American Psychiatric Association, hoarding is a disorder most often associated with other forms of mental illness including depression and anxiety. Show compassion when dealing with a tenant’s hoarding issue by avoiding name-calling or using words like “trash” or “junk”. While the situation can be a difficult one, remember to keep a professional tone at all times.

Propose a Reasonable Solution

Eviction is not, and should not be, the only outcome or resolution to a tenant’s hoarding issue. Many times it is possible to find alternative solutions that work for both parties. Provide resources to your tenant for treatment and when possible, make trash bins and truck rentals available for them. As an alternative to demanding a unit is cleaned out by a certain date, try developing a long-term plan to resolve the tenant’s hoarding issue, with regular progress updates.

Stay Updated on the Situation

Resolving a hoarding issue does not just mean cleaning out a unit or space. Often it is a long-term process that requires support and professional treatment. Make sure to stay up to date on your tenants’ progress. Continue providing resources, and schedule future property visits to see how things are going. If things are not going well or even gotten worse, consider contacting your attorney to begin the eviction process.

Hoarding Clean Out Service Providers

If eviction is the only outcome, it can also mean cleaning out the unit after the tenant has left. Here’s a list of qualified companies property managers can contact to clean up after a hoarder:

Address Our Mess – Serving Markets Nationwide

Aftermath Trauma Cleaning & Biohazard Removal Specialists – Serving Markets Nationwide

College Hunks Hauling Junk– Serving Markets Nationwide

Paul Davis Restoration – Serving Markets Nationwide

ServiceMaster Restore – Serving Markets Nationwide

Servpro Biohazard Cleanup – Serving Markets Nationwide

Steri-Clean Hoarding Services– Serving Markets Nationwide


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