A couple have taken advantage of a little-known auction that took place in one of San Francisco's most affluent areas. Tina Lam and Michael Cheng discovered that the city put Presidio Terrace up for sale because there was unpaid back-taxes, fines and interest totalling just $994 (£762).
Tina and Michael bought the street, which includes nearly 40 mansions, for just $90,100 (£61,137) two years ago and residents have been none the wiser. While the couple obviously don't own the houses themselves, they do however have rights over the lawns, sidewalks, road and trees.
Tina told the Chronicle: "I'm a first-generation immigrant, and the first time I came to San Francisco I fell in love with the city.
"I really just wanted to own something in San Francisco because of my affinity for the city."
The sale was made two years ago, and Tina and Michael have since been working out how to monetize their purchase. But according to the Daily Mail, one of the top considerations would be to charge rent for the 120 parking spaces along the cul-de-sac.
Unsurprisingly, the residents aren't happy, with one telling the Chronicle: "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."
They only found out in May when a title search company, working on behalf of Michael and Tina, contacted them to see if they wanted to buy back their street.They're furious that the bills for the county property tax were being sent to an accountant who hadn't worked with the street since the 1980s.
According to the Chronicle, the street has housed some notable people in its time, including Senator Dianne Feinstein and her financier husband, Richard Blum; House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi; and the late Mayor Joseph Alioto.
The residents are calling on the Board of Supervisors to revoke the sale and the Homeowners Association has gone as far as to sue Tina and Michael and the city. But it's believed that it will be difficult to overturn the sale considering the couple have owned the street for two years.
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