Hoarding in Condos – A Danger to All Building Residents

March 2016

Hoarding is when an individual has difficulty discarding possessions regardless of their value. It can result in cramped living conditions with rooms filled to capacity and hallways reduced to narrow pathways.

Hoarding can create unsanitary and dangerous conditions that may include pest infestation, odours, unsanitary or unsafe living conditions and increased risk of fire. Dealing with hoarding is difficult because those affected usually do not recognize it as a problem.

In a condo building, hoarding in one suite becomes a problem for all building residents.

In 2012, a Toronto co-operative received complaints about odours from a suite. Upon inspection by building management, the suite was filled from floor to ceiling with items. Over time the situation got worse and police were called on numerous occasions. Toronto Fire Services eventually declared the suite a fire hazard and in contravention of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act. The suite contained excessive flammable items. Doors could not be fully opened making entry to and exit from the suite difficult.

The board and property manager were issued a Fire Inspection Order to correct the situation. When the owner did not comply with the order, the corporation employed anexternal service to clear out, clean and disinfect the suite.

The suite owner was ordered, by the court, to pay all cleaning costs and legal fees.