Pinecrest Seizes Home. Maybe?

Pinecrest Homes SeizedA citizen is fighting the Village of Pinecrest for improper seizure of her home.  Or should I clarify and say, her property, as she does not live in the Pinecrest house.

I just read an interesting legal article about the case involving Zenaida Gomez and the Village of Pinecrest.  Apparently Ms. Gomez purchased the Pinecrest home in 2006, in 2007 leased it to someone and in 2008 the Pinecrest police were called in to investigate some goings on in the home.

The police found that the Pinecrest home was being used for an illegal hydroponics lab (proving that the Redland doesn’t have that market cornered and that upper scale neighborhoods are not immune to criminal activity, but I digress).  Due to the activities going on at the home, the Village of Pinecrest proceeded to seize the home, through legal means.

The article is full of legalese and I have to admit that I couldn’t finish it.  It appears that the seizing authority (the Village of Pinecrest) has to prove that that the owner of the house knew or had reasonable cause to know that the Pinecrest house was being used for criminal activity.  They claim she leased the home without even so much as checking whether the driver’s license presented by the tenant was valid.

I checked the home’s history in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and found the sale in there.  The home is in a great north Pinecrest location with multimillion dollar homes around.  The home itself was move-in ready but needing updating according to the MLS remarks when it sold.  It sold back in 2006 for $1,075,000 and according to a desktop appraisal I quickly did on it, might be worth in the neighborhood of $717K today, although that doesn’t take into account the damage that is done to a home when it is used as a hydroponics facility.
In any event, I find the case interesting. Be cautious when renting your home and make sure you do background checks!



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