Defining “Hoarder”

You be the judge … check out these pictures I took of one of my tenant’s basements:

Hoard 2Hoard In my opinion, this tenant is a hoarder.  When I asked her — several months ago — why she had so much stuff down here, she said she was having a “garage sale.”  Well, it’s six months later and there hasn’t been a garage sale and the pile has grown.  Fortunately, she’s moving, so I’m not being faced with having to force her out.

There’s a fine line between what constitutes a hoarder vs. someone who just has a lot of “stuff.”  I’m kind of a minimalist, I don’t like clutter, so it’s difficult to judge other peoples’ lifestyles when I do apartment checks.  Some of my tenants’ homes have what I’d say is a lot of clutter, but they aren’t dirty.  The floors are clean, the dishes are done, bathrooms are clean, etc.  I may have a negative reaction to the clutter, but that’s my problem, not theirs!

But as for the tenants who let the junk — and funk — stack up, I strongly advise people to 1) protect themselves — with appropriate wording — from hoarders in their leases, and 2) perform apartment checks on a regular basis.  Basements like the one above are invitations for pests, mold and other hazards.

This case was a bit different because this person was buying the house from me on contract, i.e. a type of rent-to-buy agreement.  I was a little more hesitant to evict her, since the process would be more costly and involved than a straight eviction.  But she initiated the move-out, and I’m thrilled.  I’m even going to put a dumpster on site for a couple weeks, to expedite the process for her.  I wonder if she’ll use it and fill it up with some of her hoard, or whether she’ll take it all with her?  LOL

More follow-up on that issue later …

Onward and upward!

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