Hoarders and Clutterers in your Property

Creative Commons License photo credit: A Touch of Glass

Do you have a tenant that pays their rent on time but is just a huge slob? Is their messiness causing problems for other tenants or creating a nuisance on your property. In extreme situations hoarding and cluttering can get out of control. We’ve all seen the newscasts with homes full of junk and even garbage and no one wants that person for a tenant. But if you already have that tenant you may have a hard time getting rid of them.

Hoarding and cluttering are often symptoms of medical conditions and in these situations your tenant may be protected by both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA). If this is the case you should involve an attorney to help you with eviction proceedings or to help you and your tenant work out a reasonable compromise.

As with all medical conditions, mental and physical, there are different reasons for hoarding and cluttering and different requirements. Someone may simply be having a difficult time at the moment and will be able to clean up after themselves soon. Some people may rely on others for help with cleaning and so some leeway must be provided. And others are true hoarders who compulsively acquire things.

The key is to handle hoarders and clutterers as you would any other tenant until you learn differently, at which point you will have to work to find a reasonable compromise or have your attorney help you navigate through the eviction process.