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I have a mental health challenge.

No, it’s not what you think.

I have two tenants are hoarders. Both of them are women both are in late middle age at both of them have physical health challenges.

Oh, and did you already guess? Both of them are alone. No friends, no family.

They are a danger to themselves as well as their neighbors.

I found out about one when a plumber trying to fix heat the building refused to go back into the apartment until it was cleaned. This is a guy with 20 years experience working with sewer pipes refusing to work on a site because its a health hazard.

The other lived for several days with wet floor after a hot water tank had burst. She didn’t want to tell anyone because telling someone would involve people coming into her suite and moving all of her stuff.

Do you ever wonder were homeless people come from?

I try to help these two ladies but I haven’t been successful.

The biggest problem is that they do not recognize that they have a problem and they do not want help.

I can’t clean up their home and take care of them on a daily basis.

But as the rent man I can make them homeless. It’s prettystraightforward and will only take about 2 1/2 months.

And so back to my mental challenge.

I can either handle this in a humane fashion and help the two women or I can turn that into homeless women roaming the streets with overflowing shopping carts.

I can turn them into homeless people on my own.

To treat them in a humane fashion I need help.

Neither Coastal Health nor the Residential Tenancy Branch (despite a desire on the part of the people we’ve spoken to) seem to be able to point me in the right direction.

I can’t just take their stuff and throw it out. Besides these women need help. The garbage is a small problem. The real problem is their mental health.

And so since I can’t do this on my own I’m asking for your help.

Suggestions are welcome, but what would be more use would be advice from an actual mental health professional, or input from a social worker with experience in this field. Better yet, if you send money I’ll set up some sort of a fund and use it to solve this problem.

They say it takes a village to raise a child.

Maybe we can be a village, and take care of these two lost kids.

My name is Rob Chipman and I’m a realtor, pilot and all around super hero based in Vancouver, BC. I really enjoy flying, playing guitar and hockey, real estate and the Chilcotin.¬† My company is¬†Coronet Realty Ltd., located at 3582 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, V5K 2A7. I have a C-150L that I own with two other pilots, based out of Pitt Meadows. Do not hesitate to contact me by email if I can help you do anything, especially if its likely to be interesting.

8 Responses to “Help!”

  1. Alexcanuck says:

    And they said being a landlord is easy…
    Semi-serious suggestion, call the TV show Hoarders and see if they have any interest in doing a show from a slightly different perspective, that of an ethical compassionate landlord who absolutely doesn’t want to just kick the poor souls out, yet can’t take the financial risk and legal liability involved in letting them stay.
    It just might work, and they can muster far more resources than you can.

    And now the other side. You owe them nothing, they have made their choices in life for better or worse, and if you want to help a random stranger in life there are more worthy candidates!
    Both opposing perspectives are true at the same time, and that is what makes life so interesting. Do post on what the result is.

  2. casanova says:

    Kick them out if they dont pay rent. Nobody will send you any money to cover your rental loss.

  3. Alexcanuck says:

    He didn’t say they don’t pay the rent. Read a bit deeper into the quandary the guy is in. This is a moral dilemma, not a simple business transaction.

  4. Danm says:

    Have monthly inspections for rental unit hazards (fire , grow op, etc ..) and 2-week follow-up inspections for any deficiencies. They’ll give you their notice very quickly. Better that they leave on their own than you having to kick them out.

  5. Anon says:

    There is a BC task force that helps hoarders. Maybe they will have some ideas for you.
    Here is an article about them.

  6. vanpro says:


    You may have to do a combination of: (1) Try calling nearest Canadian Mental Health office ( They do assist in helping to relocate people w/ mental health problems. (2) You may have to also give 1 month eviction notice for cause (o/w the mental health workers will not feel time pressured to relocate these individuals). In order to have proper back-up evidence, take pictures and perhaps have the plumber provide written report as to why he wouldnt work in the suite. Remember, the tenant has 10 days (from date of service of the notice) to file a dispute with the RTB to set aside the notice to end tenancy, otherwise they are legally presumed to have accepted the notice and must move out on the effective move-out date of the notice to end tenancy (a 1 month notice is effective the last day of the following month – so if you serve them tomorrow, Jan.23, the effective date to move out is Feb.28). If they dont move on that day, you can apply for an Order for Possession.

  7. Mr vomitingdog says:

    I have lived next door to a hoarder. And I will just tell you the truth.

    They can not change because they are mentally ill. No amount of reason will get through to them. They collect broken plates just in case they need them on a sunny day. Any money you give them will just be spent on more junk.

    Believe me, it is utterly hopeless. Oh, and City Hall won’t do anything as they are totally useless. They will just swamp you in red tape.

    Good luck!

  8. chris says:

    I’ve found the DTES resources to be pretty helpful at connecting resources. I would try phoning the Portland Hotel Society, which is generally well-connected and well-versed, specializing in mental-illness/hard-to-house people. They might have some useful advice.