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 A health and safety receivership is a legal process through which title to a piece of real property is temporarily taken from the owner and placed with a court-appointed officer: the receiver.2 These receiverships are used primarily for:

A Health and Safety Receivership is More Common than You May Realize:

When times are tough and the economy takes a downward turn, it can be increasingly difficult for some property owners to provide tenants with a good place to live. Sometimes, property owners are simply unwilling to maintain their properties and try to get as much money and profit out of the properties, while providing the bare minimum to their tenants. Sometimes, they are hit hard by the downturn and are simply unable to maintain their property.

During times like these, more and more properties become unsafe or unhealthy for the tenants who live there. Cities and counties become frustrated with the laws that are being ignored. It may seem like there is nothing you can do to change your situation.

What is a Health and Safety Receivership?

But there is a remedy that can change all this. It’s called a Health and Safety Receivership. These receiverships are most commonly used when a property is abandoned or when the property in question has a history of non-compliance and local law enforcement has been involved or when the property poses an immediate threat to the health and safety of its occupants.

A Health and Safety Receivership is when a judge appoints a receiver over a property in order to bring that property up to code standards.

When a receiver is appointed over the property, they are obligated to follow the court’s orders to bring the property up to code. The receiver will take control over the property and must bring it to health and safety standards This may include, but is not limited to:

Operating the property, including paying expenses and collecting rents;

Managing the maintenance of the property;

Contracting (and borrowing if needed) for repairs necessary to bring property up to code; and

Relocating dispossessed tenants and providing relocation expenses.

What Can You Do?

If your building codes are being ignored or if you’re renting space that is increasingly behind in repairs, it may seem like you’re in a hopeless situation. You do have a recourse. By contacting an attorney and making a motion with the court to appoint a court receiver to a Health and Safety Receivership over the property, you are taking the first step.

Because the receiver is required to follow court orders, it is important that the receiver be well versed and experienced with receiverships and with the contracting laws. Receivership Specialists has been appointed to over 471 cases as court receiver, court referee, partition referee, and chapter 11 bankruptcy trustee. Kevin Singer, one of our founding partners, is considered by many to be one of the most experienced court receivers in the industry.

How It Works

Who or what are the typical candidates for health and safety receiverships?

Packrats and hoarders; owners who cannot properly care for the property because of advanced age or disability; referrals from police and/or fire departments; properties requiring forced tenant/owner relocation; properties with illegal construction/occupation; multi-unit/apartment complexes; fire-damaged properties; properties with drug/nuisance abatement issues; bank-owned/abandoned properties; redevelopment agency properties.

What is the legal authority for appointing a health and safety receiver?

Legal authority is provided by the California Health & Safety Code sections 17980 through 17992, specifically sections 17980.6 and 17980.7.3


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