Can i pay the taxes on the rental where i reside to obtain ownership?

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Can i pay the taxes on the rental where i reside to obtain ownership?

The owner is deceased. No known family to contact. I want to purchase the dwelling. How do i go about obtaining ownership. Who do I continue to pay rent to? Can pay the taxes and claim ownership if I have been residing here for more than 6yrs?

Asked on October 10, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There are only two ways to get ownership:
1) Buy it from the owners (assuming you can locate them and they are wiling to sell at a price you are able & willing to pay);
2) If the home is foreclosed by a lender or taken by the county for unpaid taxes, buy it at the auction.
However, in regards to the taxes: unless and until the county or municipality seizes and auctions the home for nonpayment of taxes, you cannot get ownership by paying the taxes. If you do pay the taxes while the current owner--whoever that is--owns it, you are simply gifting him/her your money.


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