3 Ways on How to Deal with Hoarders in Your Property - What to Know
If you are renting out or managing a property, you may encounter tenants who are hoarders. As a property owner, this is concerning since hoarding is actually dangerous because it creates fire hazard issues, air circulation problems, and even health concerns. Hoarding can also damage the property you own.
When you have hoarders in your property, it’s best to deal with them right away. Here are three ways on how you can deal with hoarders:
1. Cooperate with them
Know that you don’t have to rely on drastic measures right away. Under the Fair Housing Act, hoarding is actually protected as a disability, which is why reasonable accommodations must be provided to them. As the property owner, you should give them the time they need to clean out the unit and remove unnecessary items.
While this may sound like something out of your control, there is a procedure you can follow to make sure that everything is fair for both parties. All you have to do is consult with appropriate government agencies to determine what “reasonable accommodations” mean. New York City’s Adult Protective Services is one of the agencies you can go to for help.
At the start of your negotiation process with the hoarder, remember to keep track and document every visit and discussion regards their hoarding issue. The most important thing to do when working with a hoarder is to be empathetic and help them overcome their problems. The essence of true property management is about offering a safe and habitable place to your tenants, understanding the problems they are facing. At the same time, however, you need to be realistic and not let your emotions decide, especially when it becomes obvious that the hoarder is not cooperating.
2. Conduct consistent follow-ups with them
Hoarding, similar to other addictions and issues, may not be solved overnight. As you understand the issues they’re dealing with, you should also be consistent in trying to help them. Always check with the possible hoarder and remind them of the end goal. Be patient and work with them wholeheartedly.
Keep in mind that it will take some time to have them remove all the items they’ve accumulated overnight. When they do, compliment them for their efforts. As a result, your tenant will not only feel that you understand them, but they’ll also thank you for helping them deal with this issue by sticking with them throughout the healing process.
3. Send them an eviction notice
This step is probably the first thing that comes to mind when encountering a hoarder, but this actually should only be your last resort.
When a hoarder does not cooperate or comply with the rules and regulations of your property, and they continue to damage your property, it may be time to evict them. As the property owner, however, it is still your job to make sure that you explore every other option before considering eviction.
Again, you need to remain patient because evicting someone isn’t as complicated. When no progress is made, and they continuously refuse to work with you, only then it’s time to evict them from the property.
Encountering hoarders in your property is an alarming matter because your investment may be at risk if not dealt with as soon as possible. Furthermore, it puts other tenants at risk of the issues mentioned above. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that hoarding is still a disability, and human beings are not without flaws, so remember empathy.
If you are unable to handle the issue of hoarding, get in touch with our property management company in New York to see how we can help. We will offer simple and easy real estate solutions to property owners and investors. We’re happy to help.