Tax Sales and HOA/Condo Dues

A tax sale investor who pays HOA or condo dues should be reimbursed if the taxpayer redeems, in my opinion. The statutes do not say that, but I think the 1931 Alabama Supreme Court decision in Morris v. Card supports it. The cite is 223 Ala. 254, 135 So. 340 (1931)

Card sued for redemption from a 1916 tax sale.  Morris claimed title through a tax deed.  Morris had paid off some pre-auction sidewalk and street assessments in order to clear those liens off the property. The court held he was entitled to be reimbursed by Card, as part of the redemption amount.  The Court relied on older cases, such as Turner v. White, 97 Ala. 545, 12 So. 60 (1893), that dealt with other types of lienable taxes paid by the investor.  In particular, I think the Morris court relied on Turner language that said, “it would be obviously unjust to deprive the purchaser of the right to have municipal taxes paid by him refunded, when, if he did not pay them, they might be coerced by a sale of the land. These he would be bound to pay, as well as the State and county taxes, to protect and preserve his title. And it is the duty of the purchaser, in the interest of good citizenship, to pay all taxes as they are levied on his property under the laws of the State.”

Looking at the history of this issue, I think it is reasonable to assume that a court would take the next logical step in the above line of reasoning, and make reimbursement of HOA and/or condo dues  part of the redemption cost for a taxpayer.  Especially if that court had the benefit of arguments and case cites in this blog post:)