I Want/Resources for Property Managers
In property management we aim to keep all our residents safe and living in healthy and cared for homes. Every owner or manager may have their own maintenance and housekeeping standards for housing inspections. Other agencies such as cities, counties, HUD or USDA have code standards that they inspect for and issue correction orders on. Multiple priorities/standards can make it a challenge when we find that a resident is struggling with clutter and hoarding.
When a clutter and hoarding condition is discovered, it is best practice to involve the resident and their current support system to work together on getting their home to a place where an inspection can be passed. If you are speaking with those who are supporting a resident, it is important to obtain permission to do so.
It is suggested to focus initially on health and safety issues which can include:
- Access to egress from the home in case of emergency
- Access for emergency personnel to enter if there is an emergency
- Ability to use water for cleaning, flushing, bathing etc.
- Working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Determine which maintenance repairs need to be corrected immediately
- Determine which environmental hazards must be corrected immediately
Next, move to an approach that sets areas of focus and timelines.
- Offer objective instructions. Required action must be communicated clearly with specific language.
- Use tools such as the Uniform Inspection Checklist (can be found below)
- Talk with the resident and their supports about specific areas of focus and timelines.
There are tools below that can be helpful in working with residents to achieve the standards to pass inspections. Property Management can use these tools to work with residents.
Rating Scales and Measuring Tools:
Local Property Managers Coalition or Crime Free Housing Group – check your local city or municipality website for more information
- Buried in Treasures, 2nd Edition. David F Tolin, Randy O. Frost, and Gail Steketee, 2014
- Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things, Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee, 2011
- Making Space Clutter Free, Tracy McCubbin, 2019
- Strategies to Acquire Less Stuff (e-book), Diane Gambrel, https://smarterspaces.net/shop