Can i pay the taxes on the rental where i reside to obtain ownership?

The owner is deceased. No known family to contact. I want to purchase the dwelling. How do i go about obtaining ownership. Who do I continue to pay rent to? Can pay the taxes and claim ownership if I have been residing here for more than 6yrs?

Asked on October 10, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There are only two ways to get ownership:
1) Buy it from the owners (assuming you can locate them and they are wiling to sell at a price you are able & willing to pay);
2) If the home is foreclosed by a lender or taken by the county for unpaid taxes, buy it at the auction.
However, in regards to the taxes: unless and until the county or municipality seizes and auctions the home for nonpayment of taxes, you cannot get ownership by paying the taxes. If you do pay the taxes while the current owner--whoever that is--owns it, you are simply gifting him/her your money.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.