How can my friend prevent from losing her home because of hoarding?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How can my friend prevent from losing her home because of hoarding?

My friend has a hoarding issue that lead to her condo violating certain codes. Up
to this point she hasn’t been able to clean up her place. Now the city will start
‘the receivership process with the courts’. On three separate occasions she hired
a clearing company. She can barely do it herself because of physical and mental
challenges. This is in Costa Mesa, CA.

Asked on June 19, 2017 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

She can stop the loss by stopping the hoarding--it is as simple as that. The courts do not like to either dispossess or remove people from their homes, or to deprive property owners (e.g. condo owners) of their property and will, even at fairly late dates in the proceedings, typically allow the person to stay if the problems or violations are cured or fixed--so if she stops violating the code, they will not have grounds to remove her. If she does keep violating it, however, they very likely can take the home. It doesn't matter if she has physical or mental challenges: it is very clear those do not legally justify violating the law.
She needs to not just hire a cleaning company, but 1) go into therapy to deal with her hoarding, 2) hire some sort of aide or assistant who will come in *weekly* (or even twice or thrice a week) to deal with her hoarding (organize, clean, throw out, etc.), so matters don't escalate, and 3) get the place comprehensively cleaned out before the any legal proceedings. If she can do--get the unit cleaned out and show she now has a support structure in place to prevent this from recurring--she will have a good chance of keeping her  home. 

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