Hoarders and private property rights

Discussion in 'Health and Lifestyle' started by MaggieMae, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. MaggieMae
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    MaggieMae Reality bits

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    Do they have any when their hoarding affects neighbors?

    I live in a condominium community with 3 townhouses attached to each structure. We discovered early last spring, following sewage backup so bad that it was bubbling up from the outside connection and causing godawful smells, that one of the new tenents (non-owner) had been flushing her garbage DOWN HER TOILET.

    This is not a stupid person; she has a great job and is gone much of the time. She's always dressed to the nines, drives a nice shiny Subaru, and is pleasant--whenever anyone actually sees her. But after that experience, I just shrugged it off as a person who is nice and shiny on the outside and a pig on the inside. C'est la vie. To each her own.

    But there's more: The other two residents in the building (myself and another) also had a terrible time with gnats (fruit flies) all summer long. They were so bad that I began giving them their own little dish of fermented tomato juice, where they would all party down, and then I could zap them all at once. But within a day, there was a whole new family of fruit flies that had moved in. LOTS of them.

    Come to find out this WOMAN, rather than flushing her potato peelings down the toilet, and everything else that would fit in there, was just leaving it out in plastic bags strewn all over her kitchen. (No wonder no one ever ran into her at the dumpster!)

    Well she moved out a few days ago, and last week we discovered why: She had no more room in her unit. Yup. She is one of those classic hoarders we've been seeing a LOT of on several TV programs lately. Unfuckingbelievable. I won't even go into how bad it was; just use your imagination.

    Anyway, because of the filthy lifestyle that she chose, the unit now has mold up and down the kitchen walls, and holes in the walls have been created because of the heaviness of the wet trash bags leaning up against the walls and floor. The whole place has to be professionally fumigated to get rid of silverfish, roaches, etc., and of course the fruit flies swarming everywhere in there. So the Association has decided we're going after her for damages, and she has been notified so far only by registered mail. She is now claiming, in phone calls to me, that what she did in the confines of her own private living space is protected by her right to privacy which trumps any lease agreement she signed.

    Since the Association will choose not to spend the money for a lawyer, it looks like we'll just have to pony up. While I usually weigh in with compassion for people like this woman (whom we're all told has a "mental illness"), this time I'm just pissed off beyond belief. We're going to have to raise association dues to cover the repairs (and any future repairs should we unwittingly rent to another one), plus it looks like I'll have to spend a couple of days in a hotel, which I'm NOT looking forward to.

    Thanks for reading my rant. It's better to vent in writing than to go knocking on this person's door to her "new" place and smacking her around. :evil:
     
  2. William Joyce
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    William Joyce Chemotherapy for PC

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    I have a relative who is a hoarder of sorts.

    He owns a big tract of property with several sheds, barns, etc. What he does is build these structures, never bothering to finish the inside, crams them with junk to the point that they become unusable, and then abandons them. Then he repeats the process.

    Now, I find it IMPOSSIBLE to understand this. I am REVOLTED by the waste of money this activity represents, just the sheer inefficiency of it.

    But, he is a smart person, and nobody is really affected by this. It's his property, as you say. It just completely annoys me.

    I am convinced it is some kind of mental illness, in the way of OCD, or obsessive compulsive disorder. Because he will go NUTS if you suggest anything be cleaned up. He will protest that "I might need that stuff", but the logical problem with this is, the stuff sits and sits so long it becomes rusted and dirty to the point of being not useable. So this is clearly not a rational response. But I think these OCD people cannot break their minds free from the idea that the stuff is somehow needed... it's that their neural pathways are just stuck firing the same message over and over. You know the OCD hand-washers? They keep getting the message "your hands are dirty", and they respond, physically. It's the same with hoarders. The message that "you'll need that stuff someday" just keeps firing and firing, and they respond physically.

    As for your lady, even though I believe she has mental illness, I still think she has no right to wreck your life because of it. Her mental illness is hurting others, and needs to be controlled.
     
  3. strollingbones
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    strollingbones Diamond Member

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    hoarding is an illness...the inability for one reason or another to part with things...its not rational to hoard newspapers or empty bags and yet they do. i think everyone is a hoarder in a way...i have been in a house where you just had a path to walk down..all floor space was neatly piled up to about 4 ft.
     
  4. syrenn
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    syrenn BANNED

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    Renters for the most part don't give a shit about what they are renting.
     
  5. Big Black Dog
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    Big Black Dog Gold Member Supporting Member

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    Back in my younger days I used to love to go out drinking and hoarding around...
     
  6. JakeStarkey
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    JakeStarkey Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    Nah, the former tenant has no property rights in this matter.

    Pay for your share of the damage, then you and your fellow resident file separate cases in your equivalent of JP court for the damages Have her served, she will not show, get a judgment against her, which she won't pay. Next get a lien against her property in amount of the court granted damages and costs.

    File her refusal to pay with your orders to the credit agencies with a copy of the lien. These actions will mess up her credit, screw up any opportunity to get quality rentals, and not allow her to sell her property without giving you a secured claim on the sale.
     
  7. Granny
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    Granny Gold Member

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    I have to agree. She was renting property owned by someone else. She had an obligation to take care of the property. She also had the obligation not to impinge on the rights of other residents, i.e., damages to a shared sewer system, raising a stink (so to say) that affected other residents' right to peaceful enjoyment of their property not to mention the intrusion of her pests and insects into other residents' units.

    I believe you once posted that you had practiced law, Maddie. Grab a law book and do a little research - legalese is legalese if you know what i mean. Who actually owns the unit that she was renting? The HOA or a private owner who was using the unit as rental property? If it's the HOA, it's up to them to pick up the costs of repairs - not to financially penalize other residents (increased HOA fees) who had nothing to do with the damages. It's their responsibility to collect costs of repairs from the former tenant. If there's a private owner, find out who it is and tell them about their problem. I would be inclined to refuse to pay increased dues - and/or threaten legal action if the HOA takes that route.

    BTW ... under the PMA clause ... I'm not practicing law without a license ... just merely stating an opinion. :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2010
  8. Samson
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    Samson Póg Mo Thóin Supporting Member

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    :eusa_eh:

    What is your legal opinion about hoarding Octoeroticia?
     
  9. Granny
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    Granny Gold Member

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    Samson ... in your case it would be that you are entitled to all the Octopron erotica you can handle ... to deny you this pleasure would be to kill a little piece of your soul. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2010
  10. Samson
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    Samson Póg Mo Thóin Supporting Member

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    Thanks, Granny.:redface:

    You're the only one that really understands me.:cool:
     

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