ClickCease Skip to main content
What to do if you have a hoarder tenant
October 13, 2021 at 7:00 AM
What to do if you have a hoarder tenant

Being a landlord comes with several inherent risks. One of them is the tenants who you allow to live on your property. You could unknowingly rent to someone who is regularly late on their monthly payment, an incessant partier, or a hoarder. A hoarder tenant poses one of the greatest risks above many others because of the health risks associated with hoarding. At Careful Cleaners, we understand that dealing with a hoarder can be a delicate situation to navigate, so we’ve put together a few tips to help.

Distinguish between a hoarder and a messy tenant

Being a hoarder and a messy person isn’t the same thing. One is often the result of laziness while the other has been classified as a mental illness. As a landlord, dealing with one is not like dealing with the other as individuals with mental illness are protected from eviction. How you approach dealing with your tenant depends on whether they are a hoarder or simply won’t clean up their apartment or house they rent from you. If you think you might have a hoarder on your hands, consider the following behaviors:

  • Severe anxiety when throwing away items
  • Indecision about where to put things
  • Inability to throw away possessions
  • Suspicion when other people touch items
  • Still functioning with loss of living space

If you notice that your tenant displays any or all of these behaviors, you’re likely dealing with a hoarder.

Speak with them about the safety hazards of hoarding

An important part of working with someone who is a hoarder is helping them see the dangers of their behavior. Have a friendly conversation with them about the health and safety hazards hoarding has on them as the resident and others in the building. Hoarding creates an ideal environment to attract pests like rats, mice, and cockroaches. They could have an infestation and not be aware of it. What’s more, a home that’s cluttered with hoarded items can’t be properly cleaned so particulates that build-up can exacerbate asthma, allergies, and other medical conditions.

Help identify areas that need to be cleaned up

If your tenant has filled their living space with piles of their belongings, it’s not a bad thing to try to deal with small areas at a time. You can identify individual areas of the house or apartment that need to be addressed every few days or weeks. Help them think of cleaning like the metaphor of eating an elephant; the only way you’ll be able to get it done is one bite at a time. Baby steps along the way will help to manage the mess and create a more livable environment.

If needed, seek an eviction

It can be difficult to evict a tenant, even if they’re causing severe problems as a hoarder can. However, if it’s the necessary step to take, you need to start preparing for such an event from the day you realize that you have a hoarder tenant. Take pictures, videos, and thorough notes that document what you’ve found at the property. Note when you visited the tenant as well as conversations that you’ve had regarding the problem. These will all come in handy as you proceed with an eviction as the courts will want to see that you tried to work with the tenant before sending an eviction notice.

Book a cleaning service

If you already have or are going to have to evict a hoarder tenant, leave the cleaning to the professionals. Your property is going to need a good, thorough cleaning before it’s fit to house another tenant. So, give our team a call at Careful Cleaners. Our crew will make sure that there’s no trace left behind of a problem tenant so future residents can comfortably live in the house or apartment. Call 604-720-6603 or send a message using our online contact form to book a service.