Code Compliance

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Code Compliance is open 8AM - 4PM Mon-Thurs and 9:15AM - 4PM Fridays.

12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 1016
Fairfax, VA 22035

Jack Weyant,
Director

Hoarding

hoarding12.jpgHoarding is the excessive collection and retention of newspapers, trash, unopened sale items, clothing, paper, rotting food and even cats. Conditions in the home of a hoarder can become so extreme that all available space from floor to ceiling may be occupied and the day-to-day activities of the home's occupants are impeded.

If you suspect a hoarding situation in your neighborhood, it is recommended that you do not attempt to clean up the house or solve the person's hoarding problem. The best action you can take is to contact us.

If you think a family member might be a hoarder, it is recommended you seek professional help for that person or professional guidance for yourself in handling the situation. Generally speaking, hoarders may have a mental illness or a medical condition that needs evaluation and treatment.

Hoarders are unaware that their lifestyle is a problem and rarely seek treatment. Typically it is difficult to change this type of behavior without professional assistance. Consult a mental health or medical professional, or contact us for recommendations and referrals.

 

Signs of hoarding

  • Extreme collection and storage of items in the home and in the yard.
  • Accumulation of combustible materials (newspapers, magazines and rubbish).
  • Blocked exits (doors/windows).
  • Narrow pathways in the home.
  • Rat and/or insect infestations.
  • Rotting food and/or used food containers.
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More signs of hoarding

  • Human and/or animal waste.
  • Long-term neglect of home maintenance.
  • Non-working utilities, such as heat, running water, sewer and refrigeration.

Animal Hoarding

While less prevalent, animal hoarding poses a serious health threat to the resident, the community and the animals being kept.

Animal overpopulation in a home leads to unhealthy waste accumulation, starvation, disease and animal death. Decomposing remains also adds to the unhealthy environment.

Typically, an animal hoarder is unaware of the filth and odor actually present in and around the home, and insists the animals are being cared for appropriately.

Fairfax County Hoarding Task Force

Formed in 1998, the Fairfax County Hoarding Task Force combines the resources of county agencies to provide a coordinated response to residential hoarding when it threatens life, safety and property. Each participating agency brings a specialty that is not found in any one other agency.

Upon receiving a report of suspected hoarding, an inspection and evaluation are made to determine if the property is safe. Next, county agencies representing the Fairfax County Hoarding Task Force are consulted. Task Force members work together to address the issues and offer compassionate, supportive services.

If the property is determined to be a health or safety hazard to the resident or the community, the property will need to be cleaned. In extreme cases, the resident(s) may need to relocate while the problems are corrected.