According to The International OCD Foundation, as many as 1 in 20 individuals may have hoarding symptoms, and 1 in 50 individuals may have very serious hoarding issues. With potentially millions of individuals with serious hoarding issues around the country, landlords and property managers may find themselves dealing with tenants that are hoarding and may be asking what can they do.
Compulsive hoarding is when a person collects many items that appear useless or have no value to most people. These items clutter the living spaces consequently keeping the resident from using the space. Also the hoarding behaviors also can cause distress in day to day activities. Landlords face specific issues if tenants are hoarding as extreme hoarding can lead to property damage and fire and health hazards.
Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder and therefore hoarders that are renters are protected by the fair housing act. However, depending on the severity of the hoarding and the tenant's behavior a landlord may have grounds to evict a tenant that is hoarding. For instance, if the tenant is breaching the lease by damaging the property, blocking emergency exits, or keeping items that attract rodents, there may be grounds to evict the tenant despite their diagnosis.
If a landlord is faced with a hoarding tenant that will not voluntarily clean their unit and the landlord is forced to evict them they should consult a lawyer and discuss following what steps they need to take to evict them. Some steps to evicting hoarding tenants may include documenting the property with pictures, videos, and notes within your property management system, offering information on local counseling and or offering to help clean the unit. Also, contacting family members or other inhabitants within the unit of your concern and then giving notice that the tenant is violating the lease and needs to fix the situation may bolster your eviction case.
This post is provided by RISSOFT Residential and Commercial Property Management Software, specializing in innovative and cutting-edge property management software for all 50 states. Request a demo or contact us today to receive more information.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.