When Richardson “Red” Griswold was court-appointed to be the receiver over a dilapidated and vacant single-family home in Garden Grove, the property had been the subject of citizen complaints and code violations for years.
The story of an abandoned property does not always start with the owner of the property packing up and walking away. Often, these properties belonged to someone who is now deceased and next of kin either can’t be found or doesn’t exist.
Abandoned properties hardly stay “abandoned” for long. If a property is uninhabited, it’s susceptible to takeover. Vandals, taggers, squatters and transients can move in and out, staying for the night—or for longer. A once-empty house can transform into a house covered in graffiti and trash in a matter of weeks. Vermin could move in as well and spread throughout the neighborhood. Abandoned properties make neighborhoods less safe and drag down property values for the other houses on the block.
The National Vacant Properties Campaign held its annual conference in Cleveland, Ohio last week. There to explain the positive impact that receiverships can have on vacant/abandoned properties in cities across the nation was Mark Adams of the California Receivership Group. Mr. Adams is a friend and mentor of mine.