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Is your neighbor’s hoard endangering your health?

| Aug 7, 2020 | Environmental Law |

You may be like many who, after a chaotic day at work, look forward to coming home where you can relax and be with your family. Of course, you may have laundry to do, dishes in the sink and trash to take out, but you do your best to keep your home orderly, both for your health and your peace of mind. Perhaps the same is not true for your neighbors.

Whether you are new to the neighborhood or have lived there for years, realizing you are living next to a hoarder can be a shock. Hoards tend to grow, and you may soon discover that your neighbor’s problems are spilling over onto your property. Dealing with this matter quickly is important since you may be facing something far more upsetting than an eyesore.

Unsanitary conditions

Many homeowners in Georgia and across the country are living in unhealthy conditions due to the neglect of their property. Neighbors who do not maintain their homes may allow mold, insects, rodents and other hazards to take over, and this also places your property at risk. However, a small percentage of those people may be dealing with hoarding disorder.

Hoarders collect items that most would consider trash. Their condition prevents them from recognizing that most of their collection is useless and even dangerous. A hoarder may refuse to throw away newspapers, old food containers, broken appliances and clothing. You may not realize what is happening in your neighbor’s home, but they may be unable to use their bathroom, kitchen and bedroom because of the piles of trash and waste inside. Soon it may spill into the yard and even across your property line.

Why is this my problem?

In addition to the mess in your yard and the eyesore beyond, a hoard in your neighbor’s house may mean there are also infestations of roaches, fleas, mice, rats and other pests. In fact, you may already be dealing with these and other consequences of a neighbor’s unsanitary conditions. Additionally, a hoard is a fire hazard. Clutter and debris that block firefighters’ ability to control a blaze may place your home in imminent danger.

Fortunately, there are legal steps you can take to protect your health, your family’s safety, the environment and the value of your home. By speaking with an attorney who is knowledgeable in environmental law, you may obtain answers and guidance about the most appropriate options for your circumstances.

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