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My Neighbor Is A Hoarder – What Do I Do?

My Neighbor Is A Hoarder  and we had problems when we starting finding little hints that mice were in our garage. There was no where for them to come into the home because we had a 3 story townhome with a concrete base floor. They never came inside our home but it was our suspicion that they came from a neighbor into our garage looking for goods, which we didn’t have anything down there.

We caught a glimpse of our neighbor across the street.  You see hints every time she opens her door, or her garage door stuff piled up and all over the ground.  When she was able to park her car inside she just drive over all the trash and debris inside. Now she can’t park inside her garage and she holds onto things as she makes her way to her door.

Normally it wouldn’t be a big deal, but see we live in a condo. Our neighbors are all very close, the sides of our walls even touch so how can we not notice?

Now the question is what do we do? We’ve lived here almost 3 years and it’s just gotten worse, and now we have mice.

After watching the show Hoarder, I know this neighbor needs help. What can I do?


  1. Chelsea on May 21, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Hoarding is a serious problem, if you are seeing rodents in your home due to a hoarding neighbor you have to act quickly. The rodent droppings carry diseases and the chances are the person living in the home is getting physically ill from the environment. Outside of code enforcement there are several options open to you. You can call your county health department as this is affecting your entire neighborhood. With hoarders they say to themselves, its my stuff and I am not hurting anyone else but they are. They are hurting every person who has to live rodents in their lives or other vermin due to their hoarding. Always remember that if a child or adult gets bit by one of those rodents you can call an attorney and sue the crap out of the hoarder. Next, you can call adult protective services, the hoarder is mentally ill and needs help. Most of all don’t give up, either the hoarder will eventually get help or your constant badgering through various agencies will drive to seek another residence. No one has to put up with a hoarder, ever.

  2. osmayra on March 11, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    oh no!! that’s horrible. you should contact the health department and file a complaint, thats so bad because you dont know what kind of nasty stuff is in their. and i would say you dont confront her, people that hoard usually have some kind of underlying issue and they could get crazy, like psycho crazy =O

  3. Mari on March 11, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    I’ve been in a somewhat similar situation with a family member. After his wife left him, he started hoarding. When he was in the hospital his daughter and I went to his house and started cleaning. However, when got home, he was infuriated. He was so angry he wouldn’t speak to me or his daughter for months.
    I couldn’t believe that he became so angry about what seemed like useless objects, but he was.
    Now, he will speak to us, on the condition that we do not discuss his home.
    It’s a difficult situation to navigate.

  4. Billie R on March 7, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I also wanted to add that just because there is a lot of trash and debris, you should never assume it’s hoarding. Some people might just be less clean than desired.

  5. Billie R on March 7, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I think you should attempt to speak with her first. Ask her if she’s seen signs of mice and what you all might do to put a stop to them, without implicating her as the cause, after all you are only going on suspicion. And while it might be correct, she’s still a human being with an illness. I think approaching her is first, then seeking other help if she’s unwilling or unresponsive.

  6. Lorna Schuster on March 7, 2011 at 8:59 am

    It certainly does depend on how personally involved you feel you want to get with your neighbor. On the one hand, she may have no one helping her to face her problem. On the other hand, the problem is more than garbage piling up — it’s a sickness. It’s the sort of thing a person needs professional help with or the garbage just returns.

    I thought that I recalled you saying you are in the Portland, OR area? I found this info on Dr. James Hancey’s free clinic to help address OCD and hoarding at the Oregon Health & Science University. If you do manage to make a personal connection with her, this is ino you might be able to provide:

    Less personally, here is information on the code violation and an online form you can fill out to report a neighorhood nuisance as a result of property neglect, etc. Hoarding would qualify as it has posed a health threat to you and your family. I would not hesitate:


    Good luck!

  7. katklaw777 on March 7, 2011 at 4:30 am

    It is great to get to know your neighbors…why don’t you try and make a friend and give her a hand, maybe she has just gotten overwhelmed and has no one to help. At least you could try that before you call some federal or local agency on her.

  8. Lauralee Hensley on March 7, 2011 at 2:46 am

    You might look in your phone book under Government and then under Your area name here City County Health Department. It’s probably in the front part of your phone book.

  9. Lauralee Hensley on March 7, 2011 at 2:43 am

    Contact the Health Department in your area and file a complaint. The Health Department can’t tell the person who filed the complaint. They go and investigate and give the home owner or renters x amount of time to get the thing cleaned up and in compliance with health standards in your area. If they don’t they are fined, or can be made to leave the home or apartment for a set amount of time, while the health department sets up cleaning crews to come in the clean the place out and the owner or renter is charged for that. They especially do this if there are signs of mouse droppings because of the potential for Hanta Virus (I’m not sure I spelled this correctly), they also look for signs of roaches. So, go for it and protect your family’s health.
    I know a woman who had the health department called on her when I was a kid. She actually lived around the block from where we lived. She thinks one of her sons friend complained to his mom about her house. So the health department came. They did say it wasn’t clean enough, but they gave her longer to get her home cleaned up then some people because she had an adult form of Muscular Dystrophy. Really her home wasn’t super bad, it wasn’t hoarder bad, it was just dirty. Her kids were old enough they could have helped more and they wouldn’t. So after that her husband did help her more with cleaning and laundry. The health department after that came back about every six weeks for a visit for about a year to make sure the home was continuing to be cleaned. Eventually they hired a person to come in and clean about once every couple of weeks. I think that was because she finally got social security.

  10. Amanda on March 6, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    I agree, find out about the HOA. and get pest control out ASAP.

    Did you google to see who you could contact?

  11. Mrs. Cox on March 6, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Yikes – I’m not sure there’s much you can do about her hoarding. If your HOA has regulations regarding garage and/or pest conditions; that’s a start. It’s tricky when it’s a condo or apartment I think. If it were a house, with visible debris all over the yard, that would {most likely} be against the city’s ordinance.

    If the mice problem gets worse, I’d bring it up to the HOA head. If there’s nothing they can do about it – I’d have a little chatty chat with her. If that doesn’t work you could always send her your pest bill 🙂

  12. Courtney on March 6, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Oh my.. that’s not good!! Has anyone confronted her?.. I’m not sure what you could do, but hopefully the issues is resolved soon!

  13. Joanna on March 6, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    I feel your pain of the hoarding neighbors. The “crazy lady” as we’ve dubbed her next door hoards. I have never seen the inside of her home, but I am sure it’s out of control. Her yard is a disaster area, as in looking like she’s having a cluttered yard sale. She has multiple portable garages with tarps covering the front and back so that she can add more to her collection. We finally got so fed up with it 2 years ago that we called our local code enforcement. They drove by her home and saw what we see every day. They sent her a letter stating she needed to clean up. However, they couldn’t legally go into her yard and look at her back yard, which is where the brunt of the stuff is. They gave us a call and ask if they could come into our yard and look and get pictures. We were more than happy to oblige. After that they sent a court order to clean up or legal action would be taken against her. There were huge dumpsters at her home for a couple of months. She cleaned up, but since it’s gone back down hill. We have mice and opossums in our shed and back yard. Our dog {lab mix} kills them and leaves them as presents all the time on our back porch. We are getting ready to call again! You should look and see if there is a Code Enforcement in your area. Or if you pay association fees, contact the association. If that’s still a no go, you can always install mouse traps.

    • janella on February 8, 2012 at 9:06 am

      MY GOSH! Just hearing you guys makes my skin crawl. I’m thinking about moving into a duplex, however the neighbor is a horder and am worried mice or rats will come inside my house or yard. Should I move or keep looking. I have some people saying it won’t as long as I keep clean and there are no holes in the wall, but am not 100% sure. please help!