Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting vans

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phatkev
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Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting vans

Post by phatkev » Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:49 pm

I live in a nice middle class neighborhood with many well kept homes. The sizes of homes vary on my street, with some being 40 year-old 2000 sq ft for about 300K to 8-yr-old 5000sq ft worth close to 1 million. No matter what the price and ages are, everyone takes great care of his or her house - inside and out.

That is, everyone except for the one we all call "the hoarder house". This person, whom none of us know, lives 2 doors down from me and has let his house go to ruin. His entire driveway is filled with a full size RV, 6 u-haul sized moving vans, and a few cars. It's not a long driveway either and it's entirely filled with the vans. He has another car on his front lawn. You can see a big bay window that has floor to ceiling piles of stuff. Recently on his front yard, he has been placing garbage bags filled with something. Just today, I noticed a toilet on his front yard. (I'll post a picture when I get one).

I'm going to sell my house in a year and I'm concerned that this house will hurt my resale value. I've lived in the neighborhood for 5 years and his house has been like that as long as I can remember. I'm afraid to approach him and I don't think it would help. He's hardly ever around and unfriendly when he is.

What would you recommend I do about this? Does anyone else have any experience dealing with a eye sore of a neighbor? What avenues exist to get this take care of?

Thanks for the help!

fabdog
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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by fabdog » Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:52 pm

Best bet is the homeowners association if that exists for your neighborhood. Failing that, or in conjunction, what are the ordinances for your city? they should have an online form you can use to file a complaint

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Raymond
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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by Raymond » Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:56 pm

Does your municipality have a property standards department?
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jtravisdavid
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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by jtravisdavid » Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:58 pm

Make a call to the code division of your city. I imagine they are violating a dozen requirements.

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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by gwrvmd » Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:00 pm

Call the American Pickers, maybe Danielle can get Frank and Mike to stop by. Then you neighbor will be on The American Pickers TV show and the resale price of your house may go up.....Gordon
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linuxology
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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by linuxology » Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:06 pm

Besides going to the town where you live and complaining. That is probably the only thing you can do. Cut your losses and move on..

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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:07 pm

jtravisdavid wrote:Make a call to the code division of your city. I imagine they are violating a dozen requirements.
This ^

A few places to start are the Fire Department.
Serious hoarders are often a fire hazard... wires under piles of <whatever>, general difficulty getting out in case of fire - which also puts firefighters at risk if they might thus need to go in for a rescue, etc.

And then the Health department, for inside and yard (depending upon what's in the stuff in the yard).

That's for starters. Those departments may have other recommendations, too.

At a certain point, "cleaning up one's act" isn't optional.

And that's separate from any zoning/aesthetic issues with the town regs. that might be helpful.

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TxAg
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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by TxAg » Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:13 pm

i read about a similar situation and the neighbors called the health dept complaining about a rodent problem. it was cleaned up quick after a few citations.

tim1999
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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by tim1999 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:13 pm

Good luck. People like this often have some serious mental health issues.

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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by Professor Emeritus » Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:19 pm

Cherokee8215 wrote:Good luck. People like this often have some serious mental health issues.
+1 http://www.agingcare.com/Articles/how-t ... 133679.htm

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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by GoldenFinch » Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:23 pm

Sad psychiatric problem. Call the city and complain. It's very possible that they can do something to remedy the situation.

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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by Watty » Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:29 pm

My county also had ordinances about cars needing to be parked on pavement, working condition, and having a current license plate if they are viable from the street. As I recall there is also a limit of four cars, or the number of adults that live in the house.

This will likely take a while to get cleaned up if you have to get the government involved to enforce it. With the amount of money involved it would would worthwhile to consult a lawyer to get this started.

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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by livesoft » Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:49 pm

Those were cats, but in order to improve the image of the PD, they had to say they were rats.

As for the OP, I'm surprised several neighbors have not already called the local government about this. If they local government hasn't dealt with it, then vote them out of office, run for office yourself, and git 'er done.
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mhalley
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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by mhalley » Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:28 pm

If the neighbor is older, another option might be adult protective services.
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CMartel2
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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by CMartel2 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:30 pm

I take it there are no kids in the home? If so, a call to the Department of Children's Services to report neglect may also be in order.

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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by Steelersfan » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:17 pm

Make an appointment at your town's police or fire department. They know what's allowed and what's not, and what's the best way to deal with it.

You'll probably find that they know all about it.

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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by Carefreeap » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:59 pm

Yes I've worked with code enforcement several times, mostly professionally and a couple of times with problem neighbors.

Prepare yourself for this to take a lot of time. This person likely already has a history. Code enforcement may or may not share this information with you. One of the problems is that someone like this will clean it up to a point and then have a relapse. If someone isn't on their case every year it just fills up again. Good you are thinking about it now, a year in advance.

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neurosphere
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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by neurosphere » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:20 pm

phatkev wrote: I've lived in the neighborhood for 5 years and his house has been like that as long as I can remember.
[Internet tone of voice alert. The following is written in the spirit of fun and jest, not malice or criticism.]

Wait, so does that mean you bought your current house 5 years ago? Which means you benefited from a low purchase price when you originally bought. So what's your complaint? That's like saying "I bought a place in the path of an airport runway. Now I'm concerned the airport runway will affect my resale value. How can I go about moving the airport runway?" :D
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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by Alex Frakt » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:56 pm

I've removed several posts from this thread. Let's keep this discussion to the OP's question of what can be done rather than your favorite local hoarder horror stories.

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dm200
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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by dm200 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:05 pm

I suspect that there might be some entity of the municipality or County or town that could be of assistance. it might be code enforcement, human services or some other person/department.

In the local government where I live, there are building insprctor type folks who respond to neighbor complaints, or other referrals to address similar situations (most often what are, or appear to be) hoarder situations. They do not "solve" 100% of such situations, but can be (and often are) quite stern in insisting on resolving certain types of "issues" - to the point of posting a residence as not allowing it to be resided in until certain things are fixed/addressed/etc.

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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by southbay » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:39 am

I once had a next door neighbor in a condo building that was a hoarder. Someone in the building must have called the health department on him, because they came to our building to do a "routine inspection" and forced him to clean it up. He did clean up, but within a year or so it was pretty bad again. Nice guy, just a little crazy. For example, his kitchen was stacked floor to ceiling with junk and he would ride his bike daily to a local buffet for his 1 daily big meal. Maybe he just liked a big buffet meal?

I recommend you alert the local health department and the city, county, mental health department, whoever might help in your area.

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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by angelescrest » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:22 am

None of you know who he is? And you're making all sorts of assumptions? At least go visit the guy first. He is your neighbor, a part of your community. Be thoughtful. Talk to a social worker who has experience with an aging population. There are many ways to intervene properly, but it takes thoughtful consideration.

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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by JupiterJones » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:57 am

I've been in the same situation. The codes department is what I did. It helped a little.

I'm sure your area has ordinances against parking vehicles in yards, letting grass grow above a certain length, having certain parts of the house be in disrepair, that sort of thing. Take some time to study up on them, then report your neighbor on the appropriate counts. Where I am they let you do it on the web. It's very easy.

Then have your neighbors do the same. The more reports, the better. You might even be able to look up what other reports the address already has on it (that's public record and web-accessible where I am).

In the end, though, having a crazy person two doors down in an otherwise very nice neighborhood may not affect your sale price nearly as much as you think.
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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by LadyGeek » Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:13 am

I removed a suggestion which bypasses the law and one reply.

Please stay focused on helping the OP.


Update: Make that 2 illegal suggestions and replies.
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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by midareff » Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:17 am

jtravisdavid wrote:Make a call to the code division of your city. I imagine they are violating a dozen requirements.

+1

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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by teacher5 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:43 am

This is a terrible psychological issue. I have a friend who is a hoarder. He told me one day he received an order from the town to clean up what was visible outside. Don't know if he did or not, he lives out of state.

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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by surfstar » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:03 am

neurosphere wrote:
phatkev wrote: I've lived in the neighborhood for 5 years and his house has been like that as long as I can remember.
[Internet tone of voice alert. The following is written in the spirit of fun and jest, not malice or criticism.]

Wait, so does that mean you bought your current house 5 years ago? Which means you benefited from a low purchase price when you originally bought. So what's your complaint? That's like saying "I bought a place in the path of an airport runway. Now I'm concerned the airport runway will affect my resale value. How can I go about moving the airport runway?" :D
LOL :wink:

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tyrion
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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by tyrion » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:24 am

You might start by discussing it with some of your other neighbors. Maybe they can fill in some of the back story and let you know if anyone has contacted the local government.

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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by crit » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:34 am

We had an odd situation in a house two doors down (we were more curious than anything else) in our old neighborhood, which was close-set 3-story houses, most with 2-3 condo units per house.

The house was obviously terribly maintained - porch falling off, never lights on, paint mostly peeled, broken windows all year. It had a not-abnormal number of cars, but clearly non-working. We weren't sure it was occupied, actually, for several years. Rumors were that an older guy owned it but was in arrears for taxes, and in some kind of grudge match with the town over nursing home costs for his late wife. Or something.

The police were called one night, by I think an occupant. Police were looking for the weapon, so gained entry that way. They found: three generations living inside, holes from 3rd floor to basement, no working plumbing, basement full of things that pile up when no plumbing is working, a gazillion electrical violations that produced clear fire hazard. The residents were immediately evicted, and taken to temporary emergency housing. They were given, I think, two months to demonstrate a plan for remediation, but did not comply. A fire happened while it was empty, which endangered the close neighbors. The house was torn down another two months later (they must have sold it to a developer, a swanky set of condos soon arose).

What I took home was this: there were several people living in there in absolutely horrid conditions, likely due to mental illness and poverty. They needed help, and it wasn't going to happen (no one wanted to interfere) until a crisis brought it. But that broken-down-looking house, and dead cars, was masking some terrible human problems. Building, fire, and safety code exists for reasons, and one of those reasons is to protect humans from themselves (and each other).

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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by Rodc » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:55 pm

A situation like this arose in our town.

House was condemned by the Board of Health.

You might try that route.
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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by General Disarray » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:32 pm

I think some cities have local ordinances that address blighted properties--properties that are in such a state of disrepair that they become dangerous (to children and others), or that are eyesores that they bring down the property value of the surrounding properties.

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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by phatkev » Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:42 pm

Thank you all for the lively discussions and suggestions. Here's a little more story. Based on your suggestions, I called the police who said that there was nothing they could do (sounds like a typical response). They directed me to the zoning dept and the health dept. I called zoning and they said that as long as the vehicles were all working, they can have as many vehicles on any section of his property. If they aren't all working then something can be done about it. But they told me that our town doesn't have any blight ordinances so they couldn't do anything about that.

The health dept was a bit more promising, drove by the house and said "from what I saw I think I have some good stuff to work with". I'll check back with him in a week or so.

I've been finding out more info about the guy also. He's very well known to the police and they knew who I was talking about before I even have them the full address. A few years back, the wife called the police for a domestic disturbance. When they got there, the woman had left but they had called in a SWAT team that shut down our street. There were snipers in my trees in the back yard. When they went inside, they couldn't find her but thought there had been a home invasion because the house was in such disarray. Apparently she just left he house. A few weeks later she hanged herself in the house leaving only the old man hoarder. During this past winter, his house was completely snowed in for weeks and I was concerned that he might have died. He eventually surfaced and cleared himself out. One person told me that he fell out of his car and was reeking of alcohol. So clearly there's a lot of mental health issues with this guys, which is why I don't want to address him myself. I'm waiting to see what the health inspector says and I'll let you back.

Please keep the advice and stories coming. I enjoyed the rat stories and pictures before they were taken down.

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Re: Neighbor is hoarder, piling garbage outside, collecting

Post by ponyboy » Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:33 pm

Unfortunately this is the luck of the draw when you have neighbors. Its their property...they can pretty much do whatever they want unless there is a HOA.

Even if they are forced to clean up...its still going to look like a pig pen. The person probably has a mental disorder and the city isnt going to help much. Sure they may fine this individual...big deal. He'll clean it up for a week and the next he'll have it trashed again.

Good luck OP.

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