What can be done if a life tenant has failed to pay property taxes for 2 years?

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What can be done if a life tenant has failed to pay property taxes for 2 years?

My father passed away 8 years ago; he had 3.5 acres. His land was deeded to a Life Tenant after his death but they have failed to pay the property taxes 2 years in a row. I am the remainderman and had to scramble to pay the taxes so that the land wouldn’t go up for auction.

Asked on October 4, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

A life tenant is required to maintain the property for the benefit of the remainder interest; this includes paying the property taxes. Since the life tenant has not fullfilled their obligations, your recourse is to take them to court and attempt to extinquish the life interest by court order. The burden will be on you to prove that they have not maintaining the property and have committed "waste".  I would strongly advise that you retain local counsel to assist you as you must understand and be able to prove the elements of waste.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

A life tenant is required to maintain the property for the benefit of the remainder interest; this includes paying the property taxes. Since the life tenant has not fullfilled their obligations, your recourse is to take them to court and attempt to extinquish the life interest by court order. The burden will be on you to prove that they have not maintaining the property and have committed "waste".  I would strongly advise that you retain local counsel to assist you as you must understand and be able to prove the elements of waste.


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