What’s a Receiver?

A Health and Safety receivership is a dramatic, immediate, comprehensive, and systematic tool that ends the issues with slum housing and problem properties without any costs to the referring agency or government. Receiverships are a dramatic mechanism which communicates to neighbors and surrounding communities that the city/county/agency is taking concrete steps to remedy the problem property they have lived with and will remedy the dangerous conditions created by absentee or recalcitrant owners.

Unlike the traditional concept of a financial receivership, a Health and Safety Receiver is not appointed to operate a property for a period of time, or to wind-down operations. Rather, the Receiver is appointed to remedy the health and safety violations on a property. Often, this process involves hiring a contractor to correct the violations, or it could begin with emptying a property of its residents. The remedies are left to the Receiver, which is what makes the remedy so adaptable and applicable to the problems a government faces.

Authorized pursuant to California Health and Safety Code Sections 17980 et seq., receiverships are used primarily for abandoned and substandard properties where the owner has a history of non-compliance with local enforcement agency orders to abate, or when a property’s conditions pose a serious threat to its residents or the public at large.

Health and Safety Receiverships are implemented, most effectively, under three scenarios:

  1. Owners and/or occupants refuse to comply with local enforcement agencies’ orders to abate substandard conditions
  2. Owners and/or occupants refuse to comply with local enforcement agencies’ orders to abate substandard conditions due to physical or psychological limitations
  3. Owners and/or occupants of substandard property cannot be located

 

The Receiver, under the authority and supervision of the California Superior Court, borrows against the property (using the property’s equity) and uses those funds to pay for emergency owner/occupant relocation, property rehabilitation, demolition or other work as authorized by the Court in order to bring the property into compliance with local and state regulations.