Manchester, NH asked in Municipal Law for New Hampshire

Q: When do I stop owning (and paying taxes for) a property that no longer exists (in NH)?

I bought an old mobile home on a rented lot in a mobile home park for $2,000 in 2013.

In March of this year it was demolished (because it was damaged during the winter and the cost to repair it was greater than the cost to replace it) and I moved to live in temporary housing for disabled vets in a town/county 50 miles away.

I'm still being billed for property tax even though I don't own the land. I made some payments, but there is now a lien on the property until I finish paying it all.

When is the property tax no longer my responsibility?

Also, since I am paying property taxes for a rented empty lot, do I have any rights to use that lot?

(I paid the lot rent up to [April] the month after the trailer was demolished/removed, per verbal agreement with the park owners. However, the park is now in the process of becoming a co-op [as of August] and I now have no way of getting in touch with the previous trailer park owners who live somewhere out of state.)

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1 Lawyer Answer

Terrence H Thorgaard

  • Municipal Law Lawyer
  • Freeeport, FL

A: Depending on the effective date of the tax assessment, you may owe property tax for this year. If, for example, assessments for this year are as of the end of February, you are properly being taxed for the MH for this tax year. They may claim a lien, but it is against the lot and you don't own the lot. Thus it is not your problem. And no, you have no right to use the lot. Your right to use it ended in April.

Note that in most places property tax liability is not personal, but instead in rem. This means that the taxing authority's only remedy for unpaid taxes is to foreclose on the property (in this case the now-gone mobile home).

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