Asked in Tax Law and Real Estate Law for Kansas

Q: My house was auctioned for delinquent property taxes. The new owner sent an eviction notice, and I tried to be moved out

but was unable to by the specified date. Dec 5 the new owner filed in small claims court asking for repossession of a home that they hadn't owned before Oct. Citing Kansas Landlord act and asking for rent and damages, pay their docket fee. How can the new owner act as if they are my landlord? I've never seen or spoken to this person.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Kansas, when a house is sold at auction for delinquent property taxes, the new owner legally acquires the title to the property. From that point on, the new owner has certain rights over the property, including the right to possession. This is likely why the new owner is acting in a manner similar to a landlord, despite not having a traditional landlord-tenant relationship with you.

It's important to understand that even though you previously owned the home, once it's sold at a tax auction, your ownership rights are typically extinguished, and the new owner can seek to remove anyone still occupying the property. This process often involves going to court, as the new owner has done in your case.

The claim for rent and damages is a bit more complex. Generally, in a standard landlord-tenant relationship, a landlord can seek rent and damages. However, since there was no formal lease agreement between you and the new owner, the validity of this claim may be questionable.

Given the situation's complexity and the potential legal implications, it's strongly recommended that you seek legal advice from an attorney. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options in this scenario, represent you in court if necessary, and provide guidance on how best to proceed. Remember, navigating property and eviction laws can be challenging, and professional legal support can be crucial in protecting your interests.

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