The International OCD Foundation estimates one in fifty people have a serious hoarding problem. Hoarding Disorder is now a recognized mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association. What does this mean for individuals requesting Reasonable Accommodation due to Hoarding Disorder and the need to protect the property and neighbors?
First and foremost, safety must be considered. Any hoarding actions which compromise the structure of the building or the safety of the resident/tenant and/or neighbors is critical and must be addressed. Health and Safety notices should be issued to any tenant with a hoarding issue that rises to the level of creating a true safety hazard. Any requests for a reasonable accommodate regarding hoarding would fall in line with any other request for a reasonable accommodation; it must be “reasonable.”
With hoarding a reasonable accommodation may be granting additional time for a tenant to clean up a hoarding issue (that does not immediately or imminently jeopardize the health and safety of the tenant, neighbors or the property.) It may include allowing a storage container of some sort on site for personal belongings to be transferred or additional time for a time to move. It is never blocking fire access, allowing pests and bugs to not be treated or creating any sort of structural damage to the property. As with all reasonable accommodations, a request regarding hoarding if brought to you should be considered thoughtfully and be based on reasonableness standards as well as the particular situation for this tenant.