Hoarding and Eviction

Hoarding and Eviction

Most people think of hoarding as a personal situation, but in reality it can become very public if the government gets involved. Because it can present a safety risk for you and your neighbors, state health departments have the ability to condemn your home and even evict you if your house is badly hoarded. Policies vary from state to state, but in most areas the general protocol is the same.

If severe hoarding conditions are found during an inspection or through neighbor complaints, an inspector will usually give you anywhere between one to three months to bring your house back up to code. This usually involves clearing out the livable areas of the home, fixing any water, heat, and electrical problems, and exterminating any rodent or insect infestations. If you fail to fix all the necessary changes in the given time frame you usually won’t be allowed back into the home until everything is clean, but if you can prove you are making a concerted effort to make repairs you may be granted an extension. The process becomes more or less immediate depending on whether you are a renter, condo owner, or homeowner.

As a renter of an apartment or house, you are in the most danger of losing your home. If you have a formal diagnosis for compulsive hoarding disorder, the federal Fair Housing Laws protect you from immediate eviction. Part of the act states that landlords cannot discriminate against the mentally disabled. This means that your landlord must give you reasonable time and accommodations to allow you to clean up before evicting you, but if you are given multiple chances and make no progress, your landlord can begin the eviction process.

Condo owners can also be forcibly removed, but less easily. You will

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