Home-builder Sergio Pino was shocked when a reporter called, inquiring about a lien filed against one of his properties in the exclusive Gables Estates neighborhood of Coral Gables.
The Gables Estates Club, the community’s homeowners association, had filed the lien on Oct. 1, claiming Pino failed to pay $6,000 to cover its yearly maintenance fees through Sept. 30. Pino is building a home at 325 Leucadendra Drive in Gables Estates.
"I don’t know anything about it," he said. "Let me get to the bottom of it, and I’ll call you back."
Hours later, Pino called back to say the Gables Estates Club had tried to reach him by mail but had used his old address on West Lago Drive in Cocoplum. He now lives two doors down from his former home on West Lago Drive. The letters were returned to the association, which then sent them to the Leucadendra address, which isn’t ready to receive mail, he said. When the homeowners association didn’t hear from Pino, it filed a lien on his property.
"It is embarrassing … but I never got their [bill,]" he said. "It was just a mistake."
Gables Estates Club president Rene Guerra confirmed Pino’s version of the mix-up.
"Pino has always been a good member of Gables Estates," Guerra said. "As soon as he found out, he took care of the situation."
Guerra said both Gables Estates and Pino were to blame for the miscommunication.
"We could have gone an extra mile and called Pino," he said. And Pino could have called the association with his new mailing address, Guerra added.