Term hoarding is a psychological condition in which people collect goods regardless of their usefulness or value. Hoarding is considered a mental disorder that can lead to lasting complications such as anxiety, depression, and severe headaches. Psychiatrists believe that hoarding occurs when a person becomes isolated from society or family and becomes aggressive in their behavior. Greed is often the root cause of hoarding, and it can lead to psychological disorders. Hoarding can be caused by anxiety, restlessness, severe depression, and traumatic life events. Family members must understand that hoarding is not a choice but a symptom of a disease. Symptoms of hoarding include a focus on collecting goods, moodiness, aggression, and a desire to live alone. Various resources are available to help family members and loved ones understand hoarding and how to deal with hoarding parents.
For landlords, maneuvering around the complex issues concerning hoarding and tenant rights can be tricky. Because of the connection between hoarding and mental illness, your tenant, by law, is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). One wrong move, and you could face a lawsuit.
As a landlord, everything and anything that happens on your property becomes your problem. Hoarding affects over one million people in the US in some capacity, which means that as a landlord there is a high likelihood that one of your tenants may hoard. Due to hoarding being recognized as a mental disability, hoarders are protected under the Fair Housing Act and cannot be evicted for the act of hoarding. Though they do have rights as a tenant, if the hoarding causes a breach in the lease, that may be grounds for eviction. Many times, hoarding may cause emergency exits to be blocked, old food to attract rodents, and cause damage to the apartment or home – this would be a breach of the lease.
Hoarding is a severe problem for a large amount of people around the world. It tends to be first-world nations like the United States that have greater incidences of hoarding. This is likely because people here have acquired disposable income. The more you learn about hoarding, the more you realize that you do not have to have disposable income to become a hoarder. People often collect free and found items as part of their hoard. Over the past 50 years, the number of people who are hoarding has increased exponentially.