When running a homeowners association, there is the possibility of encountering all types of personalities living within the community. And since it involves peoples’ personal living spaces, there is always the chance of property owners having a tenant who is a hoarder.
Hoarding in Your Community
If you aren’t familiar with the full meaning of hoarding, it’s characterized by someone who is unable to get rid of items or animals within their living space. Thus, these items pile up and begin to take over the space and affect the life of the hoarder and their loves ones — and sometimes those living near them, like their neighbors. Compulsive hoarding can lead to health problems and risks, economic problems, and issues between the hoarder and their friends and families.
Hoarding Regulation Changes
The reason hoarding is significant for homeowners associations is because the condition can not only adversely affect the tenant and those around them on the property within the association, but it can also hinder the association itself.
It was recently announced by The American Psychiatric Association that compulsive hoarding is now listed as a mental disability, which means the disorder is now under protection from laws related to disabilities — including the Civil Rights Act of 1968 and the Fair Housing Act, as well as several local and state housing laws.
In turn, this change means that property owners or their tenants with the hoarding condition can receive certain accommodations, and management is not allowed to automatically terminate their lease on the basis of hoarding.
Dealing with Hoarding on Property
Since these changes mean homeowners associations must be more careful with how they deal with hoarding situations, the best approach is to begin an open and honest dialogue with the owner and/or resident. A goal should be set and worked toward for improvement, with regular checkpoints. And if necessary, there is still the option of working to involve the local Department of Health to help in working towards a cure.
You’ll also want to educate yourself as much as possible on the hoarding situation and be sure to get the legal counsel for your association involved to help you exercise extreme caution. Cedar Management Group can help you with getting the proper legal advice and management tools for dealing with tenant or owner situations such as hoarding.