Tenant evicted for hoarding

Posted on: 16 June 2017

The Housing Service was unfortunately left with no alternative but to evict a tenant from a property in Willand on 31 May 2017. The tenant had been hoarding and, in accordance with our policy relating to this, Officers had worked with the tenant and their family over a period of two years in an effort to resolve the issues.  The individual was what is generally termed a wet hoarder.  This means they bought reduced price fruit and vegetables and prepacked food and then left it to rot.

The garden was overgrown and when Officers visited the property they found that it was exceptionally cluttered and all the electrical sockets were covered with items which had been piled up in front of them.  Additionally, a rear door to the garden was blocked.

Councillor Ray Stanley, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Seeking possession of this property was a last resort. I am aware that our Neighbourhood Team worked over a long period and also offered support services in an effort to assist the tenant to clear her home.  In the end, there was no other option because the tenant could not accept that her behaviour was creating a risk to her own health and safety and that of her neighbours.

“We cannot tolerate hoarding because it creates an unacceptable risk and as a landlord we have a duty of care.  It is important to understand that we cannot allow tenants to do anything which may cause a fire or to prevent someone from escaping in the event of a fire.  Our hoarding policy complements our policy on fire safety in communal areas.  We have a zero tolerance policy on storage of personal belongings in hallways in blocks of flats and will also enforce that.  As recent events in West London have shown, fire can have a devastating impact.  We have seen this locally following an accidental fire at one of our properties where the house was burnt out in a matter of minutes.  The tenants and their family were lucky to escape with their lives.  Whilst sad, this case demonstrates that our Officers will be proactive in order to reduce the risk of harm caused by fire.”

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Posted in: Housing