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Government & Politics

City Says Fresno's Anti-Slumlord Crackdown Is Working

Officials say the City of Fresno’s effort to step up code enforcement actions on slumlord property owners is showing results. The ASET  team - which targets landlords who don’t maintain their properties to health and safety codes - has thus far taken action on 13 properties throughout the city, with many more as potential targets. The city attempts to get owners to fix up their properties though warnings and fines, but can eventually take them to court.

In a progress report hearing Thursday before the city council, city attorney Doug Sloan says while the team needs more funding to hire investigators, ASET is working. He points to the court appointed receivership of one problem property with over 200 code violations, which he says is the first time the practice has been used in the county.

SLOAN: "We had to figure out a few things, but it's new to the judges too. SO they have to figure it out for the first time. But I think every one we do, we'll become more efficent, we'll do them more quickly, and we'll probably do more of them." 

Receivership happens when a judge appoints a third party to take over a problem property and fix it up. They eventually sell the property with the profits going to pay off the receiver, and anything left over going to the original property owner. City officials say the effort costs about $1 million dollars a year, though several positions remain unfilled due to lack of funding.