Can you buy an abandoned house by paying taxes on it?

Owner died and house is abandoned. Been vacant for a year.

Asked on September 4, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, no you can not.  Real Property can not legally be "abandoned."  Someone is on record for ownership.  While I understand that the owner has passed on, legally there may be heirs who inherited when that person died.  The only one way to take ownership is by adverse possession, and paying taxes shows an intent to own.  Kind of confucing, right?  It may be best to research of there is an estate of the deceased person and approach the family about purchasing the property.  Good luck.

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