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Fresno City Council To Debate "Receivership" For Derelict Landlords

Fresno City Hall (file photo)

In the wake of the ongoing crisis over code violations and gas leaks at the Summerset Village apartments, the Fresno City Council is set to debate a proposal Thursday/today that would make it easier to intervene with unresponsive landlords.

The bill would authorize the city to use a process known as receivership when dealing with properties with the most severe code violations and owners who are unresponsive. City planning director Jennifer Clark says the provision is a followup to last year’s effort to toughen laws about vacant blighted buildings.

Clark: “We would petition a local court to appoint a receiver. So essentially the receiver would take the place of the owner and act on the owner’s behalf to make the repairs to the property. Any rents that were coming in would be assigned to the receiver.”

The property owner could eventually regain control, but they would need to repay the receiver for their expenses. 

Clark says it’s ideal for cases when property owners don’t take action to correct major violations, or in cases where a property owner has died and has no heirs. 

Clark: "Typically it’s in cases where the owner has been unavailable for some reason. It’s really critical for the surrounding neighboring properties to have the property come into compliance so that it doesn’t devalue or make their property unsafe."

State law already allows the receiver, but the city ordinance would give the city attorney more power to pursue the option.

Joe Moore is the President and General Manager of Valley Public Radio. During his tenure, he's helped lead the station through major programming changes and the COVID-19 pandemic, while maintaining the station's financial health. From 2010-2018 he served as the station's Director of Program Content. In that role, he also served as the host of Valley Edition, and helped launch and grow the station's award-winning local news department. He is a Fresno native and a graduate of California State University, Fresno.
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