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INSIGHT: Landlord service that takes unusual approach to hoarders

kayley hyman holistic hoarding

Holistic Hoarding has prevented 50 evictions in the last four years by working with tenants to address the causes of their mental health condition.

Founder Kayley Hyman (main picture) says none of its clients have lost their homes since it launched in 2019, while there have been other benefits, such as preventing children from going into care.

The conventional response to hoarding is a ‘clean and clear’ service which is distressing for the tenant, expensive for the landlord and results in a 97% relapse rate, says Hyman.

Instead, the firm does therapeutic work with tenants to understand what has led to the hoarding, before working to clear possessions, or at least help them take a harm-reduction approach.

It can also advise on where to go if they have additional needs such as support with budgeting and benefits, mental health issues, or housing options.  


“It’s not miraculous, but a tenant will be safe,” Hyman tells LandlordZONE. “It gives the landlord piece of mind that they’ve carried out a duty of care, that the fire services can get in and that there is access for gas safety checks to be carried out.”

A growing awareness of the condition, which is often a way of coping with, and trying to heal, distress as well as an increase in those affected – partly due to the Covid lockdown – has grown demand for its services which are free for tenants in Newport and Caerphilly.

Although there is a four-month waiting list for the service, those at risk of eviction are prioritised.

Landlords will often approach Holistic Hoarding if they have had problems gaining access to their property for an inspection. RentSmart Wales helps to make them aware of the firm which can also offer landlord training.

Adds Hyman: “It used to be seen as anti-social behaviour or laziness, but I think there’s been a shift in attitudes and landlords are looking at different ways to support it.”

Read more about hoarding tenants