Q: If I pay the taxes on a property I don't own, can I take ownership on the land?
The owner hasnt paid the taxes in 3 years and my family and I have been renting it the whole time. All to find out that the taxes are pass due and if not paid the property go to auction. Just trying to find out if i paid the taxes what will need to happen so i can take ownership
A: You may be able to obtain ownership to the property through adverse possession, but an attorney must have more information prior to advising whether or not this is a possibility. This is a very fact specific determination, so I recommend organizing all information relevant to this situation, including your lease and tax documents, and consulting with an attorney individually to discuss your options.
I disagree with Mr. McCann's answer.
First, adverse possession requires you to possess the property for a period of 20 years. You've been there 3 years and a tax sale will take place long before you've been there 20 years.
Second, adverse possession cannot be based on a permissive use. You occupy the land based upon permission granted in your lease. Permissive use does not "ripen" into adverse possession.
Third, a better option would be to have an attorney to contact the person or company that bought the taxes at the county tax sale. They bought the taxes with intention to make money, either through redemption of the taxes by the owner or through getting a tax deed to the property. See if the attorney can negotiate a purchase of the position of that person or company so that you can obtain the property through a tax deed. The attorney can explain this to you in much more depth than space allows here. Mr. McCann is correct in his recommendation that you organize "all information relevant to this situation, including your lease and tax documents, and consulting with an attorney individually to discuss your options."
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