Tina Lam and Michael Cheng, an immigrant couple from California, bought the street bordering some of San Francisco’s most expensive properties, and now they will charge rich Californians for parking outside their own homes.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle report, Monday, the immigration couple found Presidio Terrace listed for only $994 dollars in an online auction, which city has held it to pay off the $14 per year property tax on the street that the local homeowners association had failed to pay for more than 30 years since the annual bill was being sent to an old address, the Sacramento Bee reported.
However, the city showed no sympathy towards these homeowners.
“Ninety-nine percent of property owners in San Francisco know what they need to do, and they pay their taxes on time — and they keep their mailing address up to date,” spokeswoman Amanda Fried said.
The street is bordering 35 properties whose owners are the most elite residents of San Francisco. Throughout the years, personalities like Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein have owned homes in the closed-off paradise, which has an entrance overseen by a full-time guard.
After the couple bought the street they consulted with property lawyers about the potential value of the street. According to the Sacramento Bee, the couple notified the homeowners that they’d bought the street in May when they approached the homeowner association asking if they would want to purchase the street back.
The locals were not amused. They sued Cheng, Lam, and the city to get the street back.
“I was shocked to learn this could happen, and am deeply troubled that anyone would choose to take advantage of the situation and buy our street and sidewalks,” one resident told the Chronicle.
The city claimed that they have no influence or power of changing the sale because it happened long ago.
The couple has an intention to charge residents for parking in order to make a profit, as it reportedly has 120 parking spaces. If the homeowners aren’t willing to collaborate in purchasing them, Cheng and Lam hope people outside the community might be interested.
According to the homeowners association lawsuit, the couple is likely to incentivize them to buy the street back by threatening of charging for parking, but Lam claims she and Cheng have no plans to part with the property.
“I’m a first-generation immigrant, and the first time I came to San Francisco I fell in love with the city,” Lam told the Chronicle. “I really just wanted to own something in San Francisco because of my affinity for the city.”