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How to deal with a Boston apartment hoarder

I recently, obtained a new Boston apartment listing to rent. When my agent went to review the apartment he was shocked the condition of the apartment.

Boston Apartment Renter Hoarder

When you see signs of a hoarder, you urgently need to get a third party involved who will act for the benefit of the landlord in an urgent way,

This kind of behavior presents a danger to the occupant of the apartment as well as other residents in the building by creating a fire hazard and very often attracting pests like cockroaches and rodents. 

In most cases, the hoarder is not aware that their living arrangement is presenting problems for the rest of the building. 

Hoarding is a mental illness 

The condition of hoarding was also once known as Collyers Syndrome, named after two brothers who died in their home in Harlem in the late 1940s when the junk they’d collected over 40 years collapsed on them. 

It’s very common for hoarders to collect old newspapers, magazines, and items so the apartment will often be piled floor to ceiling with stacked material, leaving just a small pathway to get through the space. 

Getting access to the apartment

The landlord has the right to gain access to the apartment. The landlord has a right to gain access to look at the condition of the apartment and consider the best way to eliminate bad odors and pests ect. 

A Boston apartment lease will outline the notice you need to give for access. Usually reasonable notice is 24 or 48 hours. 

More often than not, letters to the Boston apartment renter and notices will be ignored, in which case you may have to compel access via the court. This involves seeking a court order to gain access.

How to avoid the court process

Involving a third party to help 

While an eviction proceeding is an option for the landlord another option can be a third party. 

In some cases a landlord can seek the help of a family member or relative who can persuade the renter that they need to clear the junk from the apartment and give it a thorough cleaning. 

Another option, that I’ve seen is where the landlord pays the renter a few thousand dollars to move-out.

if it was me, I would contact a lawyer who specializes in real estate law to view your legal options.

Updated: Boston Real Estate Blog 2022

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