Landlord Hank: How Can I Evict A Hoarder During COVID-19?

Landlord Hank: How Can I Evict A Hoarder During COVID-19?

This week the question for Ask Landlord Hank is about a hoarder and whether an eviction can happen during covid-19. Remember Hank is not an attorney and is not giving legal advice so check your local ordinances.

Dear Landlord Hank:

How can I evict a hoarder during COVID-19?

–Valerie

Dear Landlord Valerie:

If your tenant is truly a hoarder, then they may be protected under the Fair Housing Act, as hoarding is considered a mental disorder that is recognized by the American Psychiatric Association.

So you won’t be able to evict for hoarding.

Also, you need to be able to tell the difference between hoarding and being a slob and poor housekeeper.

Hoarding normally goes way beyond being messy and disorganized and having too much stuff. Often there is only a narrow walkway to get through the property as you wind through mountains of items.

Are entry and exits blocked, are items blocking ventilation, or have food items began attracting rats and vermin?

If the tenant has been paying rent, there may be an eviction moratorium as well.

Please contact a local attorney who deals in landlord/tenant law to see where you stand and what options you have with a hoarder.

If you truly think the property condition is a safety hazard, try for photo documentation, then contact your local fire department and health department for guidance.

Be respectful of your tenant, and don’t threaten them. That will only make matters worse.

Sincerely,

Hank Rossi

This week the question for Ask Landlord Hank is about a hoarder and whether an eviction can happen during covid-19
Landlord Hank says, “If your tenant is truly a hoarder, then they may be protected under the Fair Housing Act, as hoarding is considered a mental disorder that is recognized by the American Psychiatric Association. So you won’t be able to evict for hoarding.”

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I started in real estate as a child watching my father take care of our family rentals- maintenance, tenant relations, etc , in small town Ohio. As I grew, I was occasionally Dad’s assistant. In the mid-90s I decided to get into the rental business on my own, as a sideline. In 2001, I retired from my profession and only managed my own investments, for the next 10 years. Six years ago, my sister, working as a rental agent/property manager in Sarasota, Florida convinced me to try the Florida lifestyle. I gave it a try and never looked back. A few years ago we started our own real estate brokerage. We focus on property management and leasing. I continue to manage my real estate portfolio here in Florida and Atlanta.