The coronavirus pandemic has flooded people’s minds with unquestionable doubts and uncertainty. For most, life and work have come to a complete and unexpected halt. The economy has plummeted, forcing countless businesses to temporarily close thus leaving numerous people out of work. For businesses lucky enough to keep their doors open are suffering at the hands of a reduced workload. The pandemic has caused, and continues to cause, distressed business owners and corporate shareholders to restructure and adapt to these challenging times. Big and small companies alike are trying to avert insolvency and utilize various relief options to mitigate the hardships. Unfortunately, we fear that we are still in the beginning stages of these struggles with no definite end in sight, and the somber truth is that while some companies will sustain, many others will not. For those that cannot, a Court-Appointed Receiver can help ease the difficult process of liquidating company assets and restructuring corporate frameworks.
For nearly a decade, the City of Banning had to endure the challenges brought on by six unfinished commercial buildings spread over 9 acres of land located just off the 10 Freeway. The problem wasn’t necessarily that the buildings were unfinished, but rather that the unfinished buildings had been overrun by transients and squatters taking up residency within these structures resulting in hundreds of violations of State and local laws, numerous fires, hazardous conditions, and an accumulation of garbage and debris. What was once a place of potential future economic growth and development for the City of Banning, had quickly become more than just an eyesore, but a dangerous threat to the health and welfare of the community.
For years, California Cities and Counties have faced a conundrum when attempting to have a Receiver appointed for substandard properties. Previously, the California Health and Safety Code § 17980.7(c) required an enforcement agency to provide a “3 Day Notice” notifying a Property Owner that the agency intended to petition the Court to have a Receiver appointed. Then when filing the petition with the Court, proof that the “3 Day Notice” had been served must be included with the petition.
Health & Safety Receiverships are a valuable tool to reestablish abandoned properties. There are countless vacant lots and abandoned structures across California with no apparent useful purpose. There are just as many countless explanations as to why these commercial and residential properties are abandoned. Abandonment can come at the hands of death (tenant or otherwise), a business or personal relationship gone sour, defunct or bankrupt owners, or simply by owner’s choice. Regardless, the deserted property will likely succumb to disrepair, and as a result, leave behind quite the eyesore for the surrounding community. Beyond the displeasing aesthetic, vacant properties also pose a rather significant danger to the health, safety and welfare of the neighborhood as a whole. Unsecured properties intrinsically create dangers ranging from the deteriorating structure itself to the higher crime rates tied to the vacant property. From a crime perspective, vacant properties often welcome trash dumping, graffiti, vandalism and trespassing. Further, threats arise from overgrown vegetation causing fire-hazards and vermin infestation spreading throughout the neighborhood affecting surrounding residents and businesses. Ultimately, conditions such as these result in neighborhood decline and a drop in surrounding property values. A court-appointed Health & Safety Receiver can provide the remedy abandoned properties and their surrounding neighbors truly need.