What to Do When You’ve Inherited a Hoarder House

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Inheriting a hoarder house comes with a mixed bag of emotions. From cleaning up years of accumulated clutter to dealing with potential health and safety hazards, the task ahead can seem daunting. Learn more about the practical steps you can take after inheriting a hoarder property.

Key Summary

  • Be aware of mortgage and legal obligations tied to the property.
  • Hire clean-out services for efficient clutter removal.
  • The average cost of cleaning a hoarder’s house is around £4,000.
  • Consider donating usable items and recycling materials creatively.

Sort Out the Legalities

Before you can do anything to the property, you need to be sure that you won’t be involved in any legal issues.

The Mortgage Status

Check if the hoarder’s house has a mortgage and inform the bank. Most mortgages pause repayments during probate. Once the property is legally yours, you’ll be responsible for any remaining mortgage.

Transfer of Ownership

After probate, ownership is transferred to you. Registering at the Land Registry isn’t mandatory unless selling or mortgaging, but it proves ownership and simplifies future dealings. Consult your solicitor and mortgage advisor for guidance.

Professional Clean-Out Services

Once the home is legally yours, you can start doing some work on it. Whether you aim to live in the house or sell it, one of the first steps in dealing with a hoarder house is to tackle cleaning and clearing the clutter. 

Professional clean-out services specialise in handling these situations, offering expertise and resources to efficiently remove debris and restore the property to a livable condition. The average cost of cleaning a hoarder’s house is around £4,000.

Junk Collectors and Mobile Shredding Units

If you come across items during the cleanup that you don’t deem valuable, junk collectors and mobile shredding units can be your allies.

These services can help you safely dispose of non-valuable items, such as old newspapers, magazines, and other clutter, freeing up space and facilitating the cleaning process.

Research reputable providers in your area and inquire about their disposal methods to ensure compliance with local regulations.

Home Inspections

Home inspections are essential for identifying any structural issues or potential problems within the property.

A thorough inspection can uncover hidden defects, such as water damage, mould infestations, or electrical hazards, that may affect the property’s value or pose safety concerns.

Prioritise addressing any significant issues to ensure the property is safe and market-ready.

Determining Market Value


After the hoarder house has been cleaned and cleared, you need to have its market value assessed.

Talking to a licensed appraiser can provide an objective evaluation of the property’s worth, taking into account factors such as location, condition, and comparable sales in the area.

This step is crucial for determining the property’s potential selling price and guiding your decision-making process going forward.

Rehabilitating the Property

This can go both ways – if you’re keeping the house, it needs to be liveable, and if you’re selling it, it needs to be appealing. You’ll have to address the minor repairs or cosmetic improvements needed to make it a home.

This may include painting, replacing flooring, or updating fixtures to modernise the space and maximise marketability. Investing time and resources into these minor upgrades can significantly impact the property’s sale price.

Major Structural Issues

In some cases, hoarder houses may have underlying structural issues that require more extensive repairs or renovations.

Addressing major structural issues, from foundation issues to roof leaks, is critical for ensuring the property’s long-term stability and marketability.

Although the cost and complexity of these repairs can be overwhelming, facing them head-on can save you time, money, and headaches down the line.

What to Do If You’re Looking to Sell the Property

Selling As-Is

One option for selling a hoarder house is to list it on the market “as-is,” meaning without making any significant repairs or improvements.

While this approach may appeal to some buyers looking for a fixer-upper opportunity, it can also lower the sale price and attract fewer offers.

Consider the pros and cons carefully before deciding if selling as-is is the right choice for you.

Listing on the Market

If you opt to list the hoarder house on the market, be prepared for some unique challenges and considerations.

From staging the property to marketing it effectively, selling a hoarder house requires careful planning and execution.

Work closely with your real estate agent to develop a strategy highlighting the property’s potential while addressing any concerns buyers may have about its condition.

What to Do if You’re Looking to Keep the Hoarder House

  • If the house has an unfinished mortgage, start planning how you’ll keep up with the payments.
  • You can start planning any renovations that you want to do on the house to make it your own
  • You can also start shopping around to make it feel like home.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I emotionally prepare for sorting through a hoarder house?

Dealing with a hoarder’s house can be emotionally taxing. It’s important to seek support from friends, family, or a mental health professional to help process any feelings of grief, frustration or overwhelm.

What should I do with items that aren’t worth selling but are still usable?

Consider donating usable items to charities or thrift stores. This can help reduce waste and provide resources to those in need, making the cleaning process more rewarding.


Inheriting a hoarder house may seem scary, but with the right approach and resources, you can successfully navigate the process and make informed decisions that benefit you and your family.

You can effectively manage a hoarder house inheritance and move forward confidently by prioritising cleaning and clearing, rehabilitating the property, and exploring your options.

Remember to prioritise your health and well-being throughout the process, and don’t hesitate to seek support if needed. With patience, perseverance, and a proactive mindset, you can turn this challenging situation into an opportunity for growth and transformation.

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