In most cases, landlords have to manage a host of responsibilities when it comes to managing and caring for their properties and the last thing any of them need to deal with is a tenant who is a hoarder. If you’re a landlord who has discovered that you have a hoarder tenant, it’s essential to act swiftly – before damage is caused to your property or the hoarding poses a risk to neighbors.
Warning Signs of a Tenant being a Hoarder
In most cases, hoarders are notoriously private people because many of them feel embarrassed about the overall state of their living spaces. This means that landlords often don’t discover the issue until such time as an emergency arises, urgent maintenance is needed or complaints are received from neighbors.
Landlords should always be on the lookout for warning signs though, including sudden rodent or insect infestations or even strange smells that previously weren’t present. A huge red flag would be if a tenant refuses to grant access to a landlord or maintenance workers.
In the unfortunate event that a hoarder dies in a rental property, it will cost a lot to get it cleaned up as well – especially if the death is only discovered weeks or months after it’s happened.
Few Legal Options Available
The longer a hoarder occupies a rental property, the more damage there will be to deal with over time. However, landlords can also only evict a hoarder under a limited amount of circumstances:
When Hoarding has Created Unsanitary Living Conditions
Although it’s a landlord’s responsibility to provide living space for tenants that is habitable, clean and safe, tenants also have a responsibility to ensure that they keep the property clean and sanitary. In cases where a tenant is hoarding animals, trash, rotting food or garbage, it makes it impossible for either party to ensure that these standards are upheld.
If trash that a hoarder has accumulated is attracting rodents or other pests, other people living in the nearby vicinity will most likely also be affected by the infestation. This provides another strong point in the event of a landlord having to serve an eviction notice.
When Hoarded Items Pose a Hazard to Others
If other tenants live on the same property as the hoarder tenant, it is legally possible to have the hoarder evicted when their behavior creates issues for them. For instance, if whatever they are hoarding is blocking fire exits, obstructing ventilation or making it impossible to move freely.
If a landlord decides to serve an eviction notice to a hoarder tenant, it’s essential that they do so cautiously. Despite the fact that the trash may be overpowering, it’s still possible to lose the case if any form of discrimination is detected throughout proceedings.
Once a hoarder vacates a rental home, a lot of cleaning and remodeling will usually be required – which will be costly. Landlords who would like to find out more about obtaining the funds needed to undertake this type of project can contact our team today.