In the state of Texas, can I take possession of a property by paying all back taxes and keeping them current?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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In the state of Texas, can I take possession of a property by paying all back taxes and keeping them current?

I have an uncle who has an addiction to drugs. The home he owns is paid for and
currently has no mortgage payments due. He is at least two years behind on the
taxes. I have tried to get the property for him for some time now. I have give
him money to pay the taxes, tried to get him help and much more. I would hate to
see this home taken due to non payment of taxes. Can I pay the back taxes and
legally take possession of the home?

Asked on February 8, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't: making payments for another person does NOT give you the right to own or possess the home unless you made the payments as part of a written contract with your uncle that in exchange for making these payments, he would transfer the home to you. If you don't get him to agree in advance (before paying) to this, then if you make the payments, you are just gifting the money to him. Talk to your uncle: maybe he will agree to transfer the home to you in exchange for the payments and an agreement that he can continue living there. If he does agree, go to a lawyer to write up the agreement for you, to make sure it is enforceable and does what you and he want.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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