What to do if we are renting a house and yesterday someone put a sign on our lawn, it stated that this property is scheduled for tax sale?

UPDATED: Oct 18, 2012

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What to do if we are renting a house and yesterday someone put a sign on our lawn, it stated that this property is scheduled for tax sale?

We called the number on the sign, and they say the landlord hasn’t paid property tax for 4 years. I called the landlord and basically when she got back to me she said that she forgot to pay last year because she thought her father paid. And that it would be paid this week. But I texted her back because she will not talk to me on the phone and asked about the other two years, she never answered me. I called the number on the sign again today, and they said they have nothing in their notes of her calling them. I would like to know where I stand legally. We have no money to move as we just moved into here 2 months ago.

Asked on October 18, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You may not have any recourse: if the owner of property fails to pay the taxes, the property can be sold by the government to recover tax revenue. The tax sale extinguishes the landlord's ownership and right to convey possession to any renters; the new owner, after the tax sale, is not obligated to honor any existing leases. Once the sale goes through, the new owners can make you leave if they want (evict you), though certainly, you can talk to them about if they will rent to you. You can also explore whether you could bid at and try to acquire the home at the tax sale.

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