Receivership as a strategy for notorious nuisance properties
The Washington City Paper has an important cover story this week, "Life Is Hell for Tenants of Giant D.C. Slumlord Sanford Capital," about the systematic abuse of tenants by a residential property owner that seems to specialize in poorly maintained properties catering to the extremely impoverished. The company has been sued off and on over the years.
For as long as I've written this blog, I've mentioned how some states and cities have very strong receivership statutes, which allow for the seizure of properties, in order to "cure" nuisances and correct behavior. Ohio has a particularly strong statute.
-- Ohio Revised Code; Title 37: Health-Safety-Morals; Chapter 3767, Nuisances; Section 3767.41
Pennsylvania too ("Pennsylvania passes receivership law with regard to vacant/nuisance properties," 2010). Also see "When tax lien sales further, not staunch, disinvestment: Indianapolis," 2015.
Note that DC Government's management of properties is not such a great track record that they ought to be the manager of such properties. In my writings, I've suggested this authority be given to nonprofits, as is the case in Ohio. To win receivership, a management and action plan must be created and approved by the Housing Court. To clear title of liens and to be awarded the property, the nuisances have to be successfully cured.
Why Sanford Capital's properties aren't being seized is beyond me. (Other than the fact that the city doesn't want to have to have too contentious a relationship with commercial property owners.)
Having such a statute and process in DC would go a long way towards correcting the negative actions of companies like Sanford Capital.
Taking the property will have a lot bigger impact than paying a legal judgement, which is tax deductible.