HOARDING IN OUR CO-OP
I would like to address the topic of hoarding in this co-op and bring it into an open forum in order that we might put some policies in place regarding same to protect the health and well being of everyone in this co-op and not be at the mercy of the hoarders.
Obviously I am writing this because it is at present affecting me personally, and I would like to stipulate to the fact that when addressing this issue I have tried my best to do it through the proper channels.
1. First I tried on countless occasions (over many years in fact) to offer my assistance.
2. I wrote to the office who subsequently took the issue to the Board. I have been told that “it is being addressed” but unfortunately, if said “hoarder” is uncooperative and refuses help, we as a co-op at this juncture have little or no recourse. There is no system in place to monitor or ensure that hoarders are being looked after or getting the help that they need AND if they refuse help, currently we have no avenue of recourse.
3. I called the various authorities and asked that they come and investigate, again, they can do little else except ask that things be brought up to code and/or rectified in this situation. If there person does not comply the situation is moot.
Landlord groups call for guidance on dealing with hoarders …
Two groups representing more than 2,500 landlords in Ontario say they’d like to do more to deal with tenants who have hoarding problems, but want guidance from fire …
This article is from 2011. It states (among other things):
“The landlord-tenant laws in the province make it hard for property owners to inspect a suite or evict problem renters, he added.
“What our system fails to do is recognize the rights and concerns of all the other tenants around,”
So basically, as it stands, we are at the mercy of the hoarders.
However, we as a co-op we have the opportunity to change this by implementing a by-law that stipulates to:
(a) defining a hoarder; and
(b) compelling them to get assistance or face eviction.
I do not know why this has not been implemented as of yet, as we have had two fires that I know of due to these situations and at present, we are at risk by hoarders living among us.
My suggestion is that during annual inspections, those people doing said inspections should submit to the board those units that they consider hoarding situations and they should then be assessed on a case by case basis and measures implemented to assist said person in dealing with said situation. Perhaps we develop an ad-hoc committee for same.
The criteria can be assessed as to fire risks, state of apartment (is the person living in filth, are there bugs or other health risks), etc. Are they placing those around them at risk?
In the meantime, where is the protection for those of us living around said hoarders?
Obviously, my motives are somewhat selfish at this point as I am currently in a state of stress as I know of at least two in my immediate vicinity of varying degrees that have been allowed to exist in said state for many, many years with little or no interference from the co-op or the city due to their limited capabilities as defined by the Human Rights Code.
Yesterday, for the first time since I have lived in this co-op I saw a cockroach in my kitchen. To what extent am I to be held hostage by this situation before something is done to protect me and my fellow neighbours?
In the meantime, I have been recommended by 311 to call on a regular basis and continually file complaints, I suggest if you have concerns regarding your living situation you do the same.
The areas of note are:
Toronto Board of Health – 416.338.7600
Fire Services – 416.338.9050
Animal Enforcement Services and Mobile Response – 416-338-PAWS (7297)
Here are some suggestions to implement a standard for our co-op, to protect our members based on the Landlord and Tenant act if we need a model to go by.
Filthy Apartment: What is a Landlord to do? – Google
What is a clean and acceptable apartment to one person may be viewed as an utter disaster to another person. To a certain degree, how a person to chooses to live …