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Do I still need to pay rent to this person?

Atlanta, GA |

I am a 10 year tennant at a duplex that I recently learned was sold for taxes on the courthouse steps in May and then purchased from that company by another company in July. In May the original owner of the property assured me that he had obtained a lawyer and the problem was resolved. I received lawsuit papers last week intended for the landlord and learned about the fact he no longer owned the property. I talked to the landlord to let him know the papers were there for him and asked him if he still owned property. At first he said he did, but when I gave him dates and names of the companies that had purchased it he said "Well I have a year to get it back". We have been paying him rent since the sale of the property not knowing he did not own it.We have not been contacted by the other

company. Myself and the other tennant are at a loss as to what to do.

Attorney Answers 3


You should continue to pay rent. A company has bought the tax lien against the property, but it has not yet performed the two required steps to own the property, those being foreclosing the right of redemption and quieting title. Until the tax-lien-purchasing company has at least foreclosed the right of redemption (the one-year period your landlord was referring to), you may still comfortably act as though he is the property owner.

It may be a good idea to contact the company that purchased the tax lien in order to ascertain their intentions.

Best of luck.

No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by this communication. This answer is to be considered as a general discussion of legal principals and is NOT LEGAL ADVICE. If the asker seeks specific legal advice, he should retain an attorney, who will naturally take the time to consider all aspects of the case and perform any necessary legal research.

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THis is more frequent than you might imagine. Sloppy management by the new owner not to have contacted you immediately with directions about where and to whom to pay rent. You MAY have a cause of action agains the old landlord for having taken your money since July.

Recommend you (1) chat with local GA attorney immediately ( many offer free consultations), (2) contact the new owners (document all your payments made previously and ANY made since you found out), (3) determine with the attorney whether you can sue the old owner and what you need to do to protect yourself from the new owner claiming you owe them rent from July, Aug, Sep, Oct.....

READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. We have not established an attorney-client relationship unless we have a signed representation agreement and you have paid me. I give a 100% effort to get you on the right track with your issue. Sometimes that means legal educational information, sometimes that means counseling and non-legal guidance. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.

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Sale of a tax lien does not convey immediate ownership rights to the holder of a tax lien. In most states, there is a time period by which the Owner can pay off the back taxes, together with penalties and interest and protect his Ownership rights. Until the tax lien holder acquires a Tax Deed, you should continue to pay the current Owner your lease payments.

This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Navaro & Associates LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues. Our firm offers free consultations up to 1/2 hour.

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