If someone pays land taxes on someone’s else’s property for 20 or 30 years can they obtain ownership of the property?

The person paying land taxes isn’t on
the deed.

Asked on July 7, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Mississippi


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, paying taxes on behalf of someone does NOT give you any right to the property unless there had been some written contract (e.g. a contract of sale) pursuant to which after paying taxes for X years, the owner would transfer the property to the person paying (basically, buying the property over time by paying the taxes). Without an agreement that by paying the taxes, he or she would get the property, the fact that this person voluntarily chose to pay the taxes for whatever reason does not give him or her any rights in or to it.
(And if the property owner died before there was any transfer, then the property passes by will, if there is one, or according to the rules of intestate succession, if there is no will, with no regard to who may have paid or done what earlier.)

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