Last Tuesday a man came to my home looking for the home owners. We rent. He informed us that they had not paid property taxes in 6 years and if they didn't pay up by May 31, they were going to auction off my house. They owe just over $30,000. Then he proceeded to post a scary red notice on the front of the house and take a picture of it.
I called the rental company right away. They had no clue.
I was freaking out.
I don't want to move. I love my house.
I was looking at other houses. I was hoarding money. (Hamburger Helper and Top Ramen anyone?)
Finally, today, I got some answers.
Turns out, as a renter, I have way more rights than I thought I did. In the event that the county seizes my house for nonpayment of taxes, they are still required to give me 60 days notice. Generally, in situations like this, those 60 days come rent free. Also, if the county becomes owners of this house, the property management company has no choice but to refund the $1695 deposit I gave them. (Within 21 days.) And finally, there is a government program (through the fair housing act) that will help us with a grant for deposit and first month's rent in a comparable house if we are forced to move due to owner neglect. And not paying property taxes and getting the house sold at auction is in fact owner neglect. So we are covered.
Plus, we were told today that the owners are taking out a loan against this house to pay the taxes. (They currently own it free and clear.)
So it looks like we don't have to move. YAY! And if we end up being forced to, which is unlikely, we are covered. I mean really, who lets a $148,000 home go to auction over $30,000. And half that is in fees and interest and penalties. I bet they could get it lowered a lot.
And now I can relax.