Hoarding, squalor and unsanitary environments

Hoarding is a recognised behavioural mental health condition. Squalor describes a living environment.

Severe Domestic Squalor (SDS) and squalor properties are extremely cluttered and in an unsanitary condition. They usually have an accumulation of waste such as general rubbish, decomposing food items, animal faeces, vermin, mould or mould spores, all which are threats to the individuals who live at the property and the wider community.

Our officers can inspect and assist with domestic squalor conditions to assess:

  • fire risk
  • building safety
  • animal protection
  • assessment of hygiene and sanitation.

We seek to deliver effective intervention when resolving hoarding a squalor premises. This involves collaborating with public and private sector professionals, animal control and building services to:

  • work collaboratively (across sectors) with all services to plan a service response
  • ensure the response addresses the health and safety of property owner, family and any animals; and
  • ensure the response meets legal, regulatory, and ethical requirements