What to do when you discover a Tenant’s Hoarding Issue
Learning that one of your tenants has been hoarding can come as a shock. Though hoarding isn’t your every-day 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 there is a hoarding issue, contact a real estate lawyer to advise you before you make 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 times 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
Want even more of the latest property management news?