In the state of Texas, can I take possession of a property by paying all back taxes and keeping them current?

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In the state of Texas, can I take possession of a property by paying all back taxes and keeping them current?

I have an uncle who has an addiction to drugs. The home he owns is paid for and
currently has no mortgage payments due. He is at least two years behind on the
taxes. I have tried to get the property for him for some time now. I have give
him money to pay the taxes, tried to get him help and much more. I would hate to
see this home taken due to non payment of taxes. Can I pay the back taxes and
legally take possession of the home?

Asked on February 8, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't: making payments for another person does NOT give you the right to own or possess the home unless you made the payments as part of a written contract with your uncle that in exchange for making these payments, he would transfer the home to you. If you don't get him to agree in advance (before paying) to this, then if you make the payments, you are just gifting the money to him. Talk to your uncle: maybe he will agree to transfer the home to you in exchange for the payments and an agreement that he can continue living there. If he does agree, go to a lawyer to write up the agreement for you, to make sure it is enforceable and does what you and he want.


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