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Our downstairs neighbour is a hoarder - help!

(7 Posts)
kday Fri 23-Nov-12 16:20:40

Hi,
We have a flat conversion in London. Our downstairs neighbour is an older man with a drinking problem and he is a compulsive hoarder. His flat in knee deep in what looks like rubbish (old Tesco bags, papers, old books, food wrappers). His front door lock is broken and the door is ajar so you can see inside, and there is a foul smell coming into the communal hall. He has no water or electricity service to the flat.
As a result of an incident in the flat several years ago, the Fire Brigade came and then reported to man to the Council's environmental health team as a public health risk (this is how we learned that there is no water or electricity to his flat). They said it wads the "worst case of hoarding they had ever seen" and when in the flat it is like "walking on a mountain of rubbish" - you cannot see or feel the floor.
Some case workers from the Council visited every few months until 2011 but nothing was resolved. We keep complaining to the Council but get nowhere - the Public Health part of the Council kept saying it was a matter for Social Services and not Public Health as the man has "self-care issues". Social Services say they can't speak to us because of "data protection".
Has anyone got any suggestions as to what we can do? We write to the man asking him to fix his lock, clear his "possessions" and remedy the odour but he clearly has an OCD type illness so even if he wanted to, it doesn't seem to be in his power to change it himself.
We own a share of the freehold (as does he) with two others and I'm wondering about action under the lease as he is causing a nuisance/preventing us from having quiet enjoyment of the flat. Is this really costly and a road to nowhere, does anyone know? I'll post this in Legal too.
Thanks so much for reading. We're at a loss, so any thoughts would be welcome.

notcitrus Fri 23-Nov-12 17:10:15

Do you ever see him? If not, call the police non-emergency line and say you think he might be injured or dead.
I think there has to be an environmental problem in your flat for EH to do anything for you - have you seen any rats, insects etc coming through to your flat, damp, any other physical problems?
Also if a vulnerable adult is living without a water supply that has to be a health risk to him for sewage etc - I think you can ask social services to assess him and provide help, even if they can't share much of the assessment to you.
No idea about legal stuff.

ClareMarriott Fri 23-Nov-12 20:12:52

kday

The professional body for declutterers is called apdo-uk. If, after you have made the enquiries with the social services / council people you might like to contact apdo-uk and see if anyone based in your area could help .

ISeeSmallPeople Sat 24-Nov-12 00:21:55

With any communal area yu and fellow co feeholders ( him included ) have a duty to do fire risk assessments. I'd try this route, as well as others such as SS & dehoarding body above.

kday Sat 24-Nov-12 07:28:50

Thank you, everyone. That's really helpful. I hadn't heard of Apdo so will try them as well as the Council and the fire assessment route.

Boomboomboomboom Sat 24-Nov-12 15:22:58

Have you checked the covenants under the lease? Sounds like he is in breach and you might have a case for forfeiture...

user2888 Mon 21-Oct-13 14:46:01

Hi. I know this is an old thread so hopefully the OP will see this message.... I wondered if this ever resolved itself or the hoarder is still living there? x

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