When a co-op board learns that a hoarder is residing in the building, what should it do—and not do? Take these actions:
Send a Notice:
The first step in resolving the problem is to contact the shareholder and send a notice pointing out there have been complaints of odors and infestations. As well as demanding they take immediate steps to correct the problem.
The unit may be accessed by the co-op board. Your board should grant access to the super so that they may inspect the apartment’s condition and determine the best strategy to get rid of bugs and undesirable odors. The notice that you must provide for access will be outlined in the bylaws. An acceptable amount of time is often 24 or 48 hours.
If the shareholder permits the super to enter the flat, you can gauge the scope of the issue, according to Berkow.
Letters to the shareholder and notifications are frequently disregarded, therefore you might need to ask the court for a court order to force access.
Get a Third Party Involved:
In such situations, a board may turn to a family member or close friend who may convince the shareholder that the flat has to be thoroughly cleaned and the rubbish removed.
There are companies that specialize in cleaning up the clutter from hoarders’ apartments.
The shareholder could also agree to put things in storage.
You can ask Adult Protective Services, a division of New York City’s Department of Social Services, for assistance in the absence of a relative. They will make an effort to get in touch with the person who needs assistance and strive to engage the necessary measures to address the issue.
In such circumstances, you might need to approach the court to name a guardian for the hoarding shareholder if the court determines that the shareholder cannot understand the gravity of the situation.
A guardian is a person or organization who has been given power by the court to assume control over a person and make decisions on their behalf. This will entail submitting a court petition.
Eviction is a Final Resort:
For behavior that violates the lease and is not remedied after notice, the co-op board has the option of terminating the proprietary lease and expelling the tenant shareholder.
After delivering a notice to cure, or by terminating the lease for undesirable behavior, an eviction and termination of the proprietary lease may be done.
These actions can take a board of directors a lot of time, and in either case, you must give the shareholder the required notice and present witnesses who can attest to how the circumstances are preventing them from living peacefully in their unit.
That is not simple to do, which is why, among other things, an eviction process should be your final choice.