The owner of this property had a severe hoarding problem and could not even access her home. The women slept in her front yard and among food that rotted, because she could not access her kitchen to refrigerate it. The City and County tried to offer her psychological and financial services, but she was not receptive of them. The City even had contractors look at the Property in an effort to offer her financial assistance to make much needed repairs to the home, but the contractors could not access the Property. The property became the site of numerous rats, insects, and other vermin, which endangered the surrounding homes.
Therefore, the City had no other option, but to seek the appointment of a receiver pursuant to California Health and Safety § 17980.7. The City of Fremont successfully appointed Gerard F. Keena as a Receiver of the Property and he began working with the Owner. With the authority of the Court order Gerard worked delicately yet forcefully with the Owner to clear out the Property. Clearing out the property required the Receiver Gerard F. Keena and his project manager Larry Diamond to order seven dumpsters capable of holding forty-cubic yards of material. The receivership team did not just dump everything in though, it carefully and methodically worked with the Owner to determine what needed to be stored and what could be thrown away.
Once the Property was cleared of the debris significant repairs needed to be made and the receivership hired a contractor to bring the Property up to code. The owner then agreed to move to North Carolina to be with her family, which allowed the receivership to sell the Property for $825,000. Once the receiver, contractor, and City fees were paid Ms. Burger was left with $574,442, which she agreed to receive. The Property was then sold to a responsible owner, the nuisance property was abated, and the Owner was reunited with her family.
These results show that instead of punishing an owner with mental health conditions using fines and citations a receivership is often the best answer.