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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71042
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My husband has a hoarding problem in his home (he owns the

Customer Question

My husband has a hoarding problem in his home (he owns the property) and the back garden. The state of the back garden led to a complaint and now the council is involved, with them later bringing in a fire officer with more recently a PCSO because of a neighbour's behaviour toward us. In March the environmental officer came and basically threatened us with an order to clean up the back garden by force giving us two months. We are doing our Mr best to comply but it is exhausting for us due to us both having fibromyalgia plus having to also go out to work.
Considering the complaint was about the back garden, do they legally have the right to enter our house, because they have and we have let them in to comply with the council.
Also, can we get them to leave us be to clean up in peace? Surely the equality act and the disability discrimination act apply here? Them coming is causing a lot of stress and other neighbours have said they aren't bothered by the mess.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
If you have invited them in or at least consented to their entry then they didn't force their way in I'm afraid. I realise that you might have felt pressured but that is not the same thing Im afraid. Forcing entry would happen only if you refused to allow them in and they gained entry anyway.
On your other point, I am sorry but they are entitled to demand the matter is resolved by a specified date. They do have to give you a reasonable period of time to achieve that but it cannot be open ended unfortunately. Apart from anything else you are entitled to know the date upon which you must have this done.
Sorry if that is bad news.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

But surely we have a human right to be left in peace? They were threatening us because I refused to let her in once. God, the amount of stress this is causing! Hoarding is worsened by stress plus we both have fibromyalgia. We aren't causing a danger to public health as he doesn't hoard rotting food or waste- it's just wood metal and building materials.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No. You are subject to the law.
They have issued you with an improvement notice and if you do not comply they will prosecute.
You do have human rights like everybody does. They are not being breached here.