Alabama Tax Certificate property rights

12 Replies

Bought a Tax Lien Certificate in Alabama a few months ago. The vacant lot is in a subdivision in Hueytown. Last week I got a Weed Notice. I have someone there looking at getting it mowed as I live in Texas. Today I spoke to the official who sent me the notice and he tells me there are parts or part of a boat on the property. There may also be a utility shed... I'm not sure if it's locked or not.

Do I have rights to remove the junk? Do I have rights to possession of what's in the shed or the shed itself?

@deniseevans ?

@Robert Sims , if the city tells you to remove debris, you can do that. Unless the property is abandoned (as opposed to vacant and neglected) or you have an ejectment order, it risky to do anything more.  As an investor, you go through life evaluating the size of risk, the rewards of taking risks, and then deciding on a course of action. This is no different.

@Denise Evans

Got the yard cut this morning and called the Weed Notice Office again to figure out the boat situation.  Unbeknownst to me, there is a small boat on a trailer on the property.  Evidently, the city noticed the sticker is out of date.  He put a notice sticker on the boat that he is about to have it towed.  I have no idea who the boat belongs to.  Am I liable or responsible to the owner if this boat gets confiscated by the city?

@Robert Sims , not your boat, you didn't get it in the tax sale, not your responsibility to tag it, not your fault if the city tows it. It solves a problem for you. Yea!!!

Update 6.18.19: Today I received a certified letter from the son of the deceased owner. Inside is a form: VERIFICATION OF ALLOWABLE EXPENSES BY TAX SALE PURCHASER.

The form has been filled in. So I assume I need to sign, and return the form with a receipt for the yardwork (done to keep a lien from being put on by the city because of the high grass). I send that in to the tax office and in a few weeks (I hope) I'll get my initial investment of back taxes + interest + yardwork expenses.

Is this the correct process? Fortunately, I'll be driving over from Texas this Thursday, so I can take care of it in person!

@Robert Sims , make sure the son is the correct person to redeem. If there is a wife, the son might not have inherited. If the father left a will, the son might not have inherited.  If you don't care, don't worry about it.  DO NOT sign if you are owed additional money. The form is CALLED "Verification of Allowable Expenses" but the form itself acknowledges that you've already been paid for those things.  Return it to the Tax Collector's office with a notation that the taxpayer has not paid you for preservation improvements, so you have not signed.  Be sure to tell the son how much additional money you want, within your 10 day time limits from receipt of the form. Respond in writing, via regular and certified mail, to the son.  If you are not sure the son has redemption rights and you want to make him prove it, include a sentence that says, "Subject to verification and proof that _________ is an allowed redemptioner under the statutes."

@Robert Sims , some lawyers argue about it not fitting within the strict definition of "preservation improvement."  But, if the city cut the grass and put a lien on there and you paid off the lien, you would clearly be entitled to that money, per appellate decisions.  I think the better reasoning is that you are entitled to lawn maintenance. I never argue about that when I'm a referee. 

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here