DASH Lincolnshire

These newsletters are produced in partnership between DASH, Boston Borough Council, East Lindsey District Council, Lincoln City Council, North Kesteven, South Holland, South Kesteven, & West Lindsey District Councils.

Are you aware of the Clutter Rating Chart?

Did you know in August 2013 following a fatal house fire in County Durham and a Coroners Rule 43 a national hoarding or clutter rating was issued & designed by the International OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) Foundation to assist everyone in establishing hoarding.

 The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently classified Hoarding as a recognised disorder (Aug 2018).

·       It is estimated between 2 – 5% of the population hoard

·       This equates to 1.2 million households across the UK

·       It is estimated that only 5% of hoarders come to the attention of the statutory agencies

·       20-30% of people living with OCD are hoarders (The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health 2012)

·       Often people who hoard can stop landlords carrying out their statutory duties i.e. gas safety checks and other certification required

The attached Clutter Image Rating Scale are only a guide and people have very different ideas about clutter in the home. Whilst no two homes are the same and clutter can be higher in some parts of the room than others, in general when clutter reaches the level of picture 4 or higher, we would encourage they get help for their hoarding problem.

A hoarding disorder can be a problem for several reasons; it can take over the person's life, making it very difficult for them to get around their house and it can cause their work performance, personal hygiene and relationships to suffer.

·       make cleaning very difficult, leading to unhygienic conditions and encouraging rodent or insect infestations

·       be a fire risk and block exits in the event of a fire

·       cause trips and falls

·       fall over or collapse on people, if kept in large piles

Compulsive hoarding is highly complex and requires a multi-agency approach and the following actions should be considered by a landlord who discovers this situation in their rental property:

·       A Safe & Well check (home fire safety check) referral to Fire & Rescue (with consent if possible)

·       Consider contacting Environmental Health

·       Contact Adult Social Care or Safeguarding (with consent if possible) for support to the hoarder

·       Consider Enforcement of tenancy conditions relating to residents responsibilities

·       If the tenant refuses to engage serve Notice of Seeking Possession under Ground 13 to Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988

Hoarding possesses a significant risk to both the people living in the hoarded property and those living nearby. Fire can spread to neighbouring properties if the hoarding level is severe or if flammable items such as gas canisters are being stored. It also possesses a high risk to firefighters when attending the scene.

The sharing of information is extremely important for operational firefighter crew safety. Fire services are required to be compliant with the Fire Services Act, 2004 Regulation 7.2d to make arrangements for obtaining information needed for the purpose of extinguishing fires, protecting life and property in their area.

For Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue please contact us via the web site


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