Jensen Beach, FL asked in Real Estate Law, Tax Law, Landlord - Tenant and Municipal Law for Florida

Q: The house I'm renting is being sold for taxes in April, is there anyway to buy it before it is auctioned?

1 Lawyer Answer
Andy Wayne Williamson
Andy Wayne Williamson
  • Santa Rosa Beach, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Typically if the house is going up for sale for unpaid property taxes then it could mean several things. 1st, it means that the owner has not paid the taxes. Typically if an owner does not pay the property taxes and there is a mortgage on the property the bank who holds the mortgage will step in and pay the taxes to preserve the property.

There are many companies which regularly bid upon and buy tax certificates throughout the state of Florida. The property taxes must have gone two years of not being paid by the owner and then the person who holds the tax certificate can apply for a tax deed. If the property is going to tax deed sale this means that a person is putting the house up for auction to the highest bidder and thus you could have a new landlord very soon. Alternatively, if it is only a tax certificate you still have time but you would have to out bid other people to win the tax certificate. Then later down the road out bid other people for the tax deed. Both the tax certificate procedure and the tax deed procedure can be risky and complicated if you have never done them before. I suggest that you speak with a real estate attorney very soon about this situation to get some legal advice before you take an additional step.

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