What are a tenant’s rights on property being sold at a public tax sale?

I currently lease a commercial building for my business and just found out the property is being sold at a county public tax sale in 30 days beacause of non payment of taxes by property owner. Should I immediatly remove all my buisness property from premises? What are my rights?

Asked on June 7, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You won't have any rights post-sale, other than to keep any of your own possessions, etc. located at the property. The tax sale will cut off the owner's rights to the property, including his right to possess, occupy, etc. it. Since he will have no rights to the property, he cannot give anyone else, including you, the right to use or occupy it--you can't give someone else rights you yourself do not possess. Therefore, the tax sale will not only cut off the owner's rights, it will cut off your rights, too. Whoever buys the property at tax sale will not have to rent to you and can remove you from the property at will.
Of course, it's possible that the new owner will agree to lease to you--there is no harm in speaking to them. But you need to be prepared to move, since they have no obligation to let you remain.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You won't have any rights post-sale, other than to keep any of your own possessions, etc. located at the property. The tax sale will cut off the owner's rights to the property, including his right to possess, occupy, etc. it. Since he will have no rights to the property, he cannot give anyone else, including you, the right to use or occupy it--you can't give someone else rights you yourself do not possess. Therefore, the tax sale will not only cut off the owner's rights, it will cut off your rights, too. Whoever buys the property at tax sale will not have to rent to you and can remove you from the property at will.
Of course, it's possible that the new owner will agree to lease to you--there is no harm in speaking to them. But you need to be prepared to move, since they have no obligation to let you remain.


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