We know that hoarding is a difficult issue. Most people dealing with the challenges of hoarding have other complications that make it even more of an issue for family and friends to step in and help. But do you know the legal issues surrounding hoarding?
Severe hoarding is actually a disease and is now defined as a mental disorder. Legal problems associated with hoarding are an important issue to consider. If the hoarder owns and occupies a home where the hoarding is taking place there are issues with zoning and fire codes, and possibly even having the home condemned. For renters, eviction and disputes with landlords can create legal issues. If there are children or animals involved, additional laws come in to play with endangerment to children and animals being tracked by social service agencies and animal control.
Dealing with the hoarding disorder is the best way to address the legal problems, as improvement in the situation of hoarding can sometimes resolve further escalation of legal proceedings.
Legal representatives recommend the following when a family member or neighbor is hoarding and you are unable to resolve the situation or help:
- Contact other family that may be able to intervene successfully
- If it's a rental property, contact the landlord
- Contact your city's Code Enforcement office for further investigation
- If there is a senior citizen in the property, contact the local Department of Health and Human Services Adult Protective Services agency for assistance.
- If children are present, contact the local Child Protective Services agency
- If animals are present, contact the local Animal Control office
For landloards dealing with a tenant who hoards, see this article that addresses residential landlords and their legal rights.
If you are ready for help with the clean up of hoarding and the restoration of the property, we are the San Diego experts. Call us today for a free evaluation of the property. Our technicians are certified to deal compassionately with hoarding situations. Click below to set an appointment for a free estimate: