What if your elderly tenant’s filthy, hoarding lifestyle has damaged your property so much, that you must spend thousands of dollars on restoring it? Should you sue? I say, “You bet your booties you should!”
Next door to me was a 73-year-old renter whose filthy, hoarding lifestyle finally made its way into MY home, in the form of a most fowl stench, permeating through air ducts, the ventilation system, however it could get through (his unit adjoined mine).
Early on in my hell-raising about this (to the police department, the police chief, code enforcement, adult protective services, the HOA and the property owner), I clearly got the impression that my efforts would lead nowhere, since this wasn’t a criminal matter. I refused to deal directly with this elderly man because (no joking here), the stench on his actual person was unbearable.
In fact, the stench extended into the parking lot, so going anywhere near his door was out of the question. I kept my fingers crossed that the situation would be mitigated without having to deal with this filthy creep directly. Thus, I wasted no time contemplating what I’d sue this elderly man for.
However, sooner than expected, the property owner (who at first refused to do anything) relented and told the hoarder he had to move out of there within 30 days.
The police chief, not knowing this, had the owner served “papers” that required him to get the hoarder out of there within 72 hours and begin clearing out the unit.
Next day, major operations were in full force, and because the front door was open the entire time (heat wave), the fowl stench hung even heavier in the ambient air.
The owner and a friend spent all day clearing things out, wearing their air masks, filling up a truck with junk and debris. They’d only hit the tip of the iceberg on the first day, and were facing tons more work.
Now here’s what gets me: The owner is putting the hoarder up in a motel for 30 days. If I were the owner, I wouldn’t care less where this hoarder went. My motto is: “You destroy my property, you can sleep under a bridge for all I care.”
Before you call me cruel, here are some facts:
The owner (who’s handy) is taking everything out that can be taken out (bathroom and kitchen sink, all cupboards and countertops, closet shelves, carpeting, etc.).
The place has been literally hacked at, and even a portion of a wall has been stripped out. This is how pervasive the “gutting out” has been. Renovations will be major and will cost a pretty penny.
The renter-hoarder, all along, made conscious decisions to allow filth to accumulate, having absolutely NO respect for someone else’s property, thinking only of himself.
His elderly roommate was physically disabled and always falling (he’s been placed in a clean, safe nursing home, courtesy of my hell-raising), so not only was this hoarder’s behavior very despicable as far as disrespecting someone else’s property, but he allowed a disabled elderly man to live in squalor; this is nothing short of reprehensible. I’m sure that nursing home is a palace compared to where he came from.
The renter-hoarder is NOT demented. He’d always be going out somewhere, shirt always tucked in, shoes shiny, returning in one piece. He was functional.
In fact, just a few years ago he had a full-time job working second shift at a gas station/convenience store! This is not an old age/senility thing. Some people are total creeps, creeps DO grow old.
The stench that has invaded my home is just putrid. The stress this has caused me has resulted in acid reflux. I’m livid that this creep (whose three grown kids haven’t visited him in all the eight years he’s been my neighbor) is getting away with costing the owner thousands of dollars, and is getting a free ride at a motel for a month.
The owner should sue this despicable man in small claims court, and believe me, he has a slam-dunk case. If he wasn’t putting him up in a motel, this scumbag would simply find a cheap apartment to rent. He has a car, plenty of clothes and has been able to pay the rent all along. Being 73 years old should not be a pass on getting away with destroying someone’s property.