Revolted Reykjavik court curtails reign of rubbish

The Reykjavik District Court has ruled that a compulsive hoarder will be forced to sell her share in the multi-apartment house in which she lives, at the request of the other owner/residents.

The hoarder is in her 60s and has lived in her flat on Hverfisgata in Reykjavik for many years. Since 1986 she has collected massive amounts of household waste in her abode to the extent that the hazard to health extends well beyond the apartment itself.

The other people living in the building have long been appalled at the squalor the woman lives in. The smell pervading the building is almost unbearable, they claim — and the situation only got worse when the woman began spreading rubbish around the communal garden as well. All the waste has attracted vermin, including rats, seagulls and flies, residents claim.

The building’s residents’ association held an emergency meeting in June 2010 where it was decided that the woman would be banned from living in the building and would need to sell her share. She was given a deadline to sell her flat but she decided not to comply with the non-binding request. At that point the other residents decided to take their case to court to try and force the woman out. The Reykjavik District Court this week finally granted their request and now the woman will be forced to sell up and move out. According to the court, she is not currently living in the house anyway; but according to the national registry, she has no other registered address.

All the fixtures and fittings in the woman’s flat are considered beyond salvage and have been for some time, DV reports. City of Reykjavik workers determined that everything within the flat is too impregnated with filth to be redeemed. Their evidence, from 2009, was used in court.

Authorities cleaned the flat against the owner’s wishes in 2000 and 2009. Both times they had to wear protective clothing and breathing apparatus. Last time they removed 170 bags of rubbish from the 30 square metre dwelling.

The shocking photos with this article are screenshots from of coverage DV gave the story back in 2000.