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Landlord Sues Insurer for ‘Hoarder Damage’

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (CN) - When Jerald Cohen evicted a longtime tenant for failing to pay rent, he discovered that his property had been "destroyed from the inside out" from "hoarder damage," and his insurance company refused to pay the $98,465 he needed to restore property to rentable condition, Cohen claims in Fairfax County Court.

Cohen says that "every room in the home, including the attic space, was full from floor to ceiling with trash, soiled clothing, old newspapers, rotted food stuffs, and other various forms of debris and excrement."

He says his former tenant suffered from "compulsive hoarding - a mental disorder marked by an obsessive need to acquire (and failure to use or discard) a significant amount of possessions, even if the items are worthless, hazardous, or unsanitary."

Cohen says the compulsive hoarder "completely damaged, vandalized, wasted and destroyed the property, necessitating a total restoration."

United Services Automobile Association, Cohen's property insurer, told him that damage from compulsive hoarding was not covered in his dwelling policy.

Yes it is, Cohen says. He demands that United pony up the $98,465. He is represented by Daniel Poretz with King Campbell.


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