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.
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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.....
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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.
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