How to Address a Nuisance Property

nuisance property

Dealing with a nuisance property can be incredibly frustrating and stressful. Court-appointed receivers are an incredible resource for individuals, businesses, and municipalities who need to address unsafe nuisance properties in their communities. How does the receivership remedy work? A health and safety receiver can address a nuisance property by taking control of the property, rehabilitating it, and even selling it under certain circumstances. 

Richardson “Red” Griswold Talks How About the Receivership Remedy can Help Fix a Nuisance Property

Richardson “Red” Griswold has been appointed by the California courts more than 150 times, making him an expert in receiverships. That includes Health & Safety Receiverships, which are often used for abandoned and nuisance properties. 

In this video, Red addresses the duties of a Health & Safety Receiver. 

What are the duties of a Health & Safety Receiver?

In general, the duties of a Health & Safety Receiver are to take full control of the property that is in dispute. 

The judge signs an appointment order at the start of a receivership that grants authority to a receiver to take control and possession of the property, manage the property, pay all expenses, and collect any rents. Further, to achieve the final goal, which is to rehabilitate the property, the receiver hires contractors and oversees the rehabilitation of the property through final compliance sign-off from the city. 

What is a Nuisance Property?

California defines a nuisance property as having a condition that is offensive to someone’s senses or interferes with someone’s quality of life. 

Nuisance properties can include properties that are unsafe due to conditions such as: 

  • Abandonment
  • Property mismanagement
  • Disrepair
  • Drug activity
  • Violent criminal activity
  • Rodent, insect, or other pest infestations
  • Fire risk
  • Health & Safety code violations

Common Nuisance Property Issues

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common reasons why a city might take legal action against the owner of a nuisance property – and how a Health & Safety Receiver can remedy those concerns.


Hoarding may be caused by a number of different factors, but the results of the behavior are often the same. Specifically, hoarding is a health and safety risk to the home’s residents, neighbors, and community. 

A Health & Safety Receiver, when appointed by the courts, can take control of the property, hire specialized clean-up contractors, facilitate the removal of hazardous materials, and rehabilitate the property to make it liveable again. 

Nuisance and Drug Activity

Any property that has been the site of drug activity threatens the community’s health. This includes the manufacturing, selling, or use of illicit substances. As a result, there is an increased risk of fire, police activity, explosions, toxicity, and even death. 

The receivership remedy secures the property, and the receiver can determine whether or not it is suitable for rehabilitation. If it is, the receiver will completely rehabilitate the property through the use of experienced and qualified contractors. If rehabilitation is impossible, the receiver will potentially oversee the property’s demolition and/or sale. 

Illegal Conversions

An illegal conversion occurs when a landlord or property owner illegally converts a single-family home into a multi-family home. This is usually done to fit more people into the house, and it creates unsafe living conditions for the occupants. Illegal conversions create heightened health and safety risks. 

In these circumstances, the Health & Safety Receiver will develop a rehabilitation plan to bring the property back into compliance with all local codes and ordinances. 

Tenant Habitability Concerns

Tenants in California have the right to a safe living environment. Should that environment not be provided, courts can step in under certain circumstances to appoint a receiver to ensure the tenants’ safety concerns are addressed. 

The receiver will assess the risks in the building and create a rehabilitation plan. The goal of the receiver in this situation is to ensure that the property is in full compliance with all local health and safety codes, as well as state tenant law. 

Learn More About the Receivership Remedy for a Nuisance Property 

Learn more about the receivership remedy to address a nuisance property by downloading our white paper, “How the Receivership Remedy Can Solve the Problem of Abandoned Properties in the Community.”

Download the Whitepaper


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