Miami, FL asked in Tax Law for Alabama

Q: When a tax lien for unpaid property taxes is purchased does the tax lien holder have legal right to enter the home?

I paid for the house in cash so no mortgage is due on the home. I have not paid taxes for two years. Tax sale was 5-20-14. Person who purchased lien on 7-6-15 but actually changed the locks on the house before they paid the taxes.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mr. James Parrish Coleman III
Mr. James Parrish Coleman III
Answered
  • Robertsdale, AL

A: In short, no. Based on your question, I would guess that the person likely holds either a tax certificate or a tax deed (one may demand a tax deed three years after they acquire a certificate of sale, i.e. a tax certificate). In any event, they are not owners of the property in fee simple, and they therefore do not have the right to enter onto the property and change the locks without the owner's permission. You still have a right to redeem the unpaid taxes. This area of the law is fairly complex, and I would recommend consulting an attorney. If you are located in Mobile or Baldwin County and you feel like you need an attorney to assist you, please feel free to contact me.

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