Q: I live in Georgia. I have a one-half undivided interest in real estate. I have paid my property taxes on my proportionate share. The others will not pay theirs. Can the county place the whole property up for sale or only the undivided interest not paid on?
A: If you have an undivided interest, all of the property will be seized not just your half. You will have to fork over the remaining property taxes on the property or risk losing it all. If your partners won’t pay their share of the real estate taxes, or can’t, pay up, you should seek advice from an excellent real estate attorney who can retool your partnership arrangement to make it more equitable. Perhaps you’ll buy out your partner, or the extra amount you pay now will be returned to you when the property sells.
In most parts of the country, real estate taxes become a lien on a piece of property. Unless your share of the property is taxes separately, you all run the risk of losing the property if you fail to pay those taxes. If you can discuss this issue with those that own the property with you, you may be able to come up with a solution that allows you to pay all the real estate taxes due on the property and also cover yourself for the expenditure.
Find legal counsel. You’re going to need it.