Many people are better at bringing things into their home than getting rid of them. In some cases, this can become a significant problem as rooms fill up with items which they find difficult to part with.
Sometimes known as hoarders, the occupiers often overstock their home with food or other materials. They may also be reluctant to throw things out. This means that the house and sometimes garden can become more and more cluttered. In extreme cases, rooms become so full that it is no longer possible to get into them.
Hoarding can be viewed as a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). As of 2018, the World Health Organisation includes hoarding disorder as a distinct mental health condition, in their international classification of diseases. Consider whether you can offer them help, point them in the direction of help, or request help for them.
If you, a friend or a relative need help to sort out a home with too many possessions in it, Life-Pod has a very good reputation for helping you make changes to bring the home back into a comfortable, useable state. Simply clearing up or throwing things out will only help the symptoms, not the underlying cause(s) and may be very difficult for those involved.
The council has limited powers to force hoarders to clear out unless they are causing specific problems to neighbours. You may want to discuss the problem with:
- You local Housing Office, who can be contacted through the Contacting the Council page.
- Planning Enforcement, where the materials are visible from outside the property;
- Environmental Health & Trading Standards, where it might be affecting the health of the resident or the ability of immediate neighbours to use their homes. Please note that Environmental Health cannot routinely consider complaints about hoarding due to other higher priority work. Investigations will only be carried out where levels of other prioritised work permit and there is evidence of adverse effects on the resident or neighbours for which statutory powers exist;
- Pest Control, where there is evidence of pest problems, particularly if they affect neighbouring homes or properties.