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Man calls authorities to help 82yo hoarder, accidentally gets him evicted. UPDATE

Man calls authorities to help 82yo hoarder, accidentally gets him evicted. UPDATE


One man was fed up with the stench coming from his downstairs neighbor's apartment. When he found his neighbor literally trapped in his own hallway by all of the garbage, he called the fire department. Now, he wonders if he has ruined this 82-year-old man's life.

'Hoarder lives below me. The smell coming from his flat leaking up into mines. His flat is a fire hazard, anything I can do?'


(I’m in Scotland) The guy below me is 82, no family, no friends nothing. He’s a hoarder and has lived there for 40 years. I moved in 2 years ago. I knew it was bad but yesterday I found him trapped between the opening of his door and the hoard in his doorway.

Basically half in half out. He begged us not to call services but after 4 hours I had to. Fire and rescue came and went through a window to get to him.

They were all shocked at the conditions (I could hear them) and then today people turned up with hazmat suits and inspected his house. I’m guessing environmental health?

Now, this happened 3 years ago apparently and they emptied the flat and found rats. So I’m at a loss as to what they can do about it if clearly he just goes back to hoarding ?

He has piles and piles of newspaper towers which I’m worried will just go up in flames one night!

The smell is travelling through the floorboards and into my kitchen cupboards and airing cupboard. I can’t explain how potent and disgusting this smell is. I want to cry thinking about having to continue living like this.

We know when he’s gone to the shop as the whole building fills with stench whenever he opens his door. I also worry about the mans health. He needs intervention and he’s at an age now if he passed in there no one would know and that’s terrifying.

There are 5 flats in this building. He is bottom left and I’m directly above. The other owners are aware of him and his conditions and they’ve had to call to report them before. Surely after multiple call-outs or reports something more permanent has to be done?

He’s sound of mind other than being a hoarder and a loner. From what I’m told he doesn’t have any heating or access to his bath/shower due to the hoard. Is this enough for the environmental health to refer to social services?

I don’t want to traumatise him by doing anything but I can’t continue to live like this.

Here were the top comments after the initial post:


I would be extremely surprised if he wasn't already on social services' radar, however, if he has capacity he is entitled to refuse any input.


I’ve had a couple of families on my NHS caseload with similar issues. The council will revisit and re-clear if the occupant is cooperative, but the waiting lists can be long.

At 82 and suspected to be living without heat etc there’s clearly a safeguarding risk. Trips and falls are a potential issue too. If you know his name and can hazard a reasonable guess as to his GP surgery it may be worth sending a short letter to his doctor to this effect.

They may well already know but it never hurts to share an up to date picture. Leave out your own frustrations - just state that he’s known to have issues with hoarding and you’re concerned for his ongoing well-being and wanted to flag it up. His GP has a duty of care, once notified, to check that all the appropriate services are aware and involved, and will be able to reach out to both health and social care teams.


I lived next to a hoarder for about a decade. I can relate to the comments about the smell. If you haven't experienced it, there's no way to adequately explain how awful it is.


If it was me, I’d go at it from a housing perspective. If it’s council housing; Go to the council and explain the fire risk. If you’re a leaseholder (I.e the building is owned and managed by an outside company) then he is probably in breach of his lease, so contact the management company. If you’re a freeholder (I.e all of the apartment owners own a portion of the building) I’d look at legal action with the other owners.

The OP returned with an update two weeks later.

'UPDATE: Hoarder lives below me. The smell coming from his flat leaking up into mines. His flat is a fire hazard, anything I can do?'


Just in case anyone was curious of the outcome. He was removed from his flat and due to “being unable to care” for himself he has been placed in a local care home and his flat is being emptied by the council and sold to cover the cost of his care.

This came from him. We didn’t see him for a few days and we worried he had potentially been frightened to leave his flat due to the situation so we called social services again. They told us not to worry he was in their care.

He then returned a few days later and explained the above. He’s not happy about it and didn’t realise councils had this power. ( I didn’t either not sure I agree with it) I’m not too sure what to think.

He can hold a conversation when he needs to. He feeds himself and he owns his flat. He’s just a very severe introvert hoarder. I’m sad for him but he’s accepted what they’ve said and he hasn’t been back since. Not looking forward to the flat clearing process and potentially disturbing bugs/rodents but glad he’s in a safer situation.

Here were the top comments after the latest update:


OP probably saved this guy from a horrible slow death in his hoard. Hoarders get trapped and refuse to call for help because they know what will happen to their home if the city gets involved so end up dying.

Hoarding is a type of OCD and people that have this problem are often very good at hiding it when they are out and about in the world. Most people would never know there was something wrong with them until they saw their home.


I just can’t get past the poor old guy getting stuck in the doorway like an elderly James Franco. At least OP found him before he had to make any life-changing decisions.


I cannot believe someone went after OOP about this. The guy had SERIOUS mental health issues. He created a situation where everyone’s health was at risk. He created a firetrap. He knew something was wrong with how he was otherwise he wouldn’t have begged OP not to call for help. He wasn’t getting treatment for his issues on his own.

OP did the right thing. Whoever was calling them out is severely ignorant of what could have happened.


With multiple call-outs and smells, he should have been moved out the first time itself. Good on OP on making the right call.

So do you think this neighbor did the right thing to try and help the elderly hoarder or was he sticking his nose where it didn't belong?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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