Can I Report My Neighbour For Hoarding?
This article aims to explore if you can report a neighbour for hoarding. For a broader perspective of the matter, we will also explore what actions can the council or landlord take if you report your neighbour for hoarding and review the negative effects of hoarding on the hoarder as well as their neighbouring community.
Can I Report My Neighbour For Hoarding?
Yes, you can report your neighbour for hoarding under the following conditions:
- it can be classed as a statutory nuisance
- it can (or already has) lead to a pest infestation
- it poses a real threat (to the hoarder, their family or neighbours)
- it appears to be linked to a mental health disorder
- it is linked with the neighbour’s antisocial behaviour
Hoarding can be considered antisocial behaviour and can be reported to the local council. If the council deems the hoarding to be a problem, they may take action to abate the nuisance, such as issuing a clean-up order.
Hoarding can also have negative effects on the hoarder, including social isolation, health risks from living in unsanitary conditions, and an increased risk of fire.
It can also lead to pest infestations due to the accumulation of food and other items in the home; which can harm the hoarder, their household members as well as the neighbouring community.
You can report your neighbour to your local council office either via sending an email (preferably with pictures of evidence attached) or you can call on their helpline during weekdays.
In most cases, when you report your neighbour for hoarding, the council authorities will organise a visit to their house in the next seven to ten days to inspect the situation on their own. They will not reveal your identity to your neighbour and will carry out an independent investigation of the matter.
Some councils encourage that the Adult Social Care team is also part of the initial visit so that they can assess if the hoarding is due to a mental health disorder so that appropriate support can be provided to the hoarder.
You can also inform your neighbour’s landlord if your neighbour is hoarding and you suspect or have faced anti-social behaviour. Since hoarding is considered part of anti-social behaviour, any action taken by the landlord will fall under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
Where Should I Report My Neighbour For Hoarding?
If you are concerned about your neighbour’s hoarding habits and want to report them, there are a few different options available to you. You can contact the council, the police or their landlord. Each option has its benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to consider what would work best in your situation.
If you contact the council, they may be able to provide support and resources to help your neighbour stop hoarding. However, they may also decide to take action against the property if it is deemed to be a health and safety hazard. This could result in your neighbour being evicted.
If you contact the police, they may be able to investigate and take action against your neighbour if their hoarding is deemed to be a criminal offence (e.g. if they are illegally acquiring items). However, the police may not be willing to get involved if the hoarding is not causing any direct harm.
If you contact the landlord, they may be able to take action against your neighbour if their hoarding is affecting other tenants in the property (e.g. if it is causing noise or smells). However, the landlord may not be willing to get involved if the hoarding is not affecting other tenants.
What Will The Council Do After I Report My Neighbour For Hoarding?
If you report your neighbour for hoarding to the council, they will first visit your neighbour and carry out a basic investigation to gather evidence.
When the authorities have gathered sufficient evidence against the hoarding done by your neighbour, they will contact them with guidelines on how to proceed further. In case the hoarding is being done in a shared area and causing clutter, they will be asked to remove the items.
However, if the hoarding is further leading to anti-social behaviour, the tenant is at risk of being evicted or having to face the police department against an official complaint of their behaviour.
On the other side, if the hoarding is a result of a psychological disorder, the council authorities will not only help your neighbour in organising the items that they have hoarded and advise them on how to proceed in case of a pest infestation due to the clutter, they will also connect them to mental health service providers. They may also seek third-party intervention from organisations such as Help for Hoarders to guide their neighbours.
If the hoarding by your neighbour poses a threat to them or others living in their surrounding, council authorities will also seek the support of Social Services, Environmental Health and the London Fire Brigade to resolve the matter on an immediate basis.
Can I Report My Neighbour To Their Landlord For Hoarding?
Yes, you can report your neighbour’s habit of hoarding to their landlord; whether it is a pirate landlord or a social housing one. However, they may only be able to talk to your neighbour and explain is not a matter of serious concern. The only action a landlord can take in such a situation is if there is anti-social behaviour involved on the part of their tenant; for which the tenant can be evicted from the premises.
In other cases, the landlord can take the following actions:
- conduct regular visits to the property and monitor suspected issues of hoarding and advise their tenant
- maintain a log of photographic evidence to assess if any improvement is taking place
- report to social workers in case there is a need for additional support
- manage a risk assessment to check if there is a real danger due to the hoarding by their
- check with the tenant to see if they can manage their hoarding behaviour (as it can be the result of a psychological disorder)
In severe cases, the landlord can seek possession of the property under the Housing Act 1988.
The above discussion helps to conclude that hoarding can be reported to the council mainly because it depicts antisocial behaviour and can be a statutory nuisance to neighbours. The council may take action against the hoarder if the hoarding is causing a nuisance or health and safety hazard as hoarding can also cause a pest infestation.