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Benefits of Receivership to Commercial Lenders

By Neil Sheaffer

Health & Safety Receiverships: Addressing Abandoned Substandard Properties

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.

What is a Health and Safety Receivership?

A Health and Safety Receivership is an effective legal remedy under California law that facilitates the reestablishment of substandard properties, which include properties that show problems of hoarding, drug/slum activity, fire or water damage, unpermitted construction or habitation, or properties that have been abandoned. There are many substandard properties across California that are clearly neglected and/or vacant with no useful purpose. These properties are an eyesore to the public and can be a danger to the health, safety and welfare of the surrounding community. Health and Safety Receiverships can reduce the number of substandard properties and demonstrates to the community that the city or county is taking steps to rehabilitate problem properties.

Health and Safety Receivership Remedy to Protect the Neighborhood

A Health and Safety Receivership is a legal remedy to combat neighborhood blight and transform problematic properties back into safe and habitable structures. A house or building within a community may be deteriorating due to various reasons ranging from severe hoarding, contaminated or unsafe living environments, or owner abandonment. Deteriorating properties are usually produced because no responsible party is willing or able to address the problems on the property. Whether due to an uncooperative property owner, quarreling heirs, disputes regarding title, or an owner that cannot be located, the structure or dwelling is poorly maintained making it an eyesore and hazard to the community. When a property is in severe disrepair and a danger to its tenants or neighboring residents, the property will affect the entire neighborhood.

California Health & Safety Receiverships: Collaboration with Guardian Ad Litems

Health and Safety Receivership actions often deal with homeowners who are packrats/hoarders, elderly, or mentally/physically disabled. These types of homeowners may not be able to properly maintain and care for their house, which leads to loss of control of the property and the commencing of a receivership action. A Court-Appointed Health and Safety Receiver is temporarily appointed by the court to address the health and safety concerns of substandard properties that have been neglected by property owners. A Health and Safety Receivership can successfully rehabilitate distressed properties when the homeowner is unwilling or unable to remedy code violations themselves.

Receivership Remedy for Abandoned Properties

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