Do you need a property cleared for probate?
Before a property can be sold or rented after someone has passed away, it may very need to be cleared from the top to the bottom, from the attic to the cellar and garden. Property clearance is usually done as one of the steps needed for probate clearance. Sometimes, the property was lived in by a collector or hoarder and they may have not only hoarded furniture, clothes, books and paper, but also, more sadly, pets.
What condition is the property in?
Is the property you have to clear in pristine condition or are you in the difficult position of having to deal with a property that has been occupied by a hoarder? Having cleared literally hundreds of properties for probate, Avery Associates can help you with any type, size or condition of property.
Hoarded properties and pets
A hoarded property has its own set of problems that need special attention to control and remove. Oftentimes hoarders do not only accumulate goods and chattels, they also collect pets and keep them in unsuitable environments that endanger the animals. Special measures in these circumstances must be taken fast.
In the case of pet hoarding, concerns and proper care for the animals takes the first priority. People who hoard often do have many pets too and the conditions these animals are kept is below standard with no care for the animals’ needs. We work closely with animal care and protection societies such as the RSPCA and Cat Protection Society when needed. Pets that people most frequently hoard include cats, dogs and birds although reptiles and insects can also be hoarded.
Common denominators when it comes to animal hoarding
According to The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Foundation, there are some common denominators to hoarding animals. These include inadequate food and care for the animals, keeping far too many animals and keeping them in unhealthy and in unsuitable spaces. Hoarders are renowned for keeping too much of one thing and unfortunately in the case of hoarding pets, this really can lead to horrific circumstances for the animals.
The first priority where pets are concerned is the welfare and immediate protection of the animals. The second concern is removal of waste and ensuring sanitation.
Hoarding pets and sanitation
Hoarders rarely hoard methodically. This means that the conditions that pets have been subjected to are not healthy or sanitised and often live in cramped and over-crowded conditions. Once the pets have been removed safely from a hoarded property, the next thing to start work on is the removal of potentially toxic waste.
Hoarding pets usually creates contaminated areas with animal excretion. Hoarders most often themselves live in filthy conditions and the same is true for the animals they keep.
House clearance in contaminated areas
Contaminated areas have to be cleaned thoroughly but this is a cautionary note to anyone attempting to clean a house without professional help: toxoplasmosis may be present in the cat waste and dust in the property and special protective equipment may be required.
The risk of Toxoplasma gondii
A parasite called Toxoplasma gondii which mostly occurs in dust particles undercooked meat and cat excrement is responsible for causing a condition known as toxoplasmosis, particularly dangerous for pregnant women. House clearing where the hoarder has kept many cats as does often happen, has to be done with health and safety protective clothing.
Properties where hoarding has taken place usually have masses of dust and filthy surfaces, walls and floors. Dust itself can be contaminated and clearing hoarders’ homes, one needs to rely on professional help and specialised clothing. This can take the form of disposable gloves, full length dust and particle protection overalls, risk masks, shoe protectors and protective head gear.
Ethical house clearance
Avery Associates can offer client confidentiality as all staff sign confidentiality agreements to assure clients the best courtesy and care. If there are confidential papers or sensitive material found, this will be given to the owner.
House clearing a hoarded property for probate is one of the hardest types of house clearing especially when animals are involved. The problems associated with hoarders are many and it is definitely advisable to call for professional help if there are any animals in the property. For an obligation free consultation, call Avery Associates on 0800 567 7769.