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Your Dream Home is Now a Nightmare: Is it Time to Take Legal Action? Featuring Real Estate Attorney, Kirk Pearson

By: LS Carlson Law June 5th, 2024

Nasty Surprise for New Homeowners: Daily Fines for Previous Owners' - As Featured in the Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times recently featured an article by Karen Garcia, highlighting a cautionary tale for prospective homeowners in California. The story centers on Corrine and Doug Thomas, who, after losing their home in the 2018 Woolsey fire, purchased a property in Humboldt County only to discover it came with a million-dollar headache. Unbeknownst to them, the property had been used for illegal cannabis cultivation by the previous owners, resulting in massive fines and legal battles.

Unpermitted Structures and Unexpected Fines

The Thomases purchased a property with an unpermitted three-story building that had been raided in 2019 for illegal cannabis cultivation. Six days after their purchase, they were hit with a cease-cultivation order and faced fines amounting to $1 million. Their story is not unique; other property owners are facing similar issues, leading to a class-action lawsuit against Humboldt County for what they claim are unfair enforcement practices.

Legal Insights from LS Carlson Law's Real Estate Attorney Kirk Pearson

Our very own Kirk Pearson, a real estate attorney and partner at LS Carlson Law, was interviewed and featured in the Los Angeles Times. Kirk explained that when it involves code enforcement violations, local governments always look to the current property owner as the responsible party. This highlights the risk for new homeowners who do not thoroughly investigate a property's history before purchase.

The Importance of Due Diligence in Property Purchases

In the article, Kirk emphasized the importance of conducting thorough inspections and obtaining all relevant permits and records before finalizing a property purchase. In California, sellers are legally obligated to disclose any known defects or unpermitted work on a property. However, buyers must also be proactive in their investigations to avoid inheriting costly problems.

Protecting Your Investment

Prospective home buyers should ensure they keep the inspection contingency in their purchase contracts. This allows for a detailed inspection of the property, providing leverage to negotiate repairs or credits based on the findings. Waiving this contingency might make an offer more competitive, but it carries significant risks, as it might lead to overlooking critical issues like unpermitted structures or other code violations.

LS Carlson Law: Your Partner in Real Estate Disputes

At LS Carlson Law, we are committed to protecting our clients' interests in real estate disputes. Our experienced real estate attorneys are here to help you navigate the complexities of real estate law in California. If you are facing similar issues or need legal advice on a real estate matter, contact us today for a consultation.

For the full article, you can read it on the Los Angeles Times website.

Book a Complimentary Appointment with Kirk

If you have a real estate dispute, we would like to extend an invitation to you to book a complimentary 30-minute attorney consultation with Kirk. You can do so by calling us at: (949) 421-3030 or by using this link: Book an Appointment with Kirk.

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