What, if any, legal rights does a tenant have if their landlord has lost the rental property to tax debt?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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What, if any, legal rights does a tenant have if their landlord has lost the rental property to tax debt?

We leased property that we operated our business on. The lan owner got into tax debt and the property was seized and auctioned off. We were unaware of all of this. We have clients that have paid for our services but we are being evicted from the property. Is there anything hat we can do? We have had the lease for some 20 odd years. We have no backup property and our entire family’s livelyhood is being affected greatly.

Asked on July 31, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Arkansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't do anything, unfortunately: the tax sale of the property terminated all the landlord's rights, including the right to give possession (e.g. to lease) to others, such as your business. The new owner of the property has no relationship or obligation to you, and is not bound by your lease with the former owner, and therefore can remove you. The best you can do is try to negotiate something with the new owners--if not the balance of the year, maybe at least 2 - 3 more months, for example; or maybe they will give you more time if you agree to pay a higher rent. But they'd have to agree voluntarily: as stated, they do not have any obligations to you and your existing lease is now terminated, so they can remove you if they want.

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