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Volume 3 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 68

Opinions of Counsel index

Taxes (delinquent) (period of redemption) (tax deed) - Real Property Tax Law, Article 10:

When property sold for taxes is not redeemed within one year the county treasurer should issue a tax deed at the expiration of the one-year period. Such deed is valid in all respects and may be recorded, but is subject to an additional period for redemption of two years if the land is occupied, and such additional period may be reduced to six months upon service of a written notice to the occupant and filing proof thereof.

We have received an inquiry concerning an owner’s right of redemption under Article 10 of the Real Property Tax Law.

A lien was purchased and tax deed issued on a parcel of land pursuant to the provisions contained generally in Article 10 of the Real Property Tax Law, and specifically in accordance with sections 1000, 1002, 1004, 1006, 1010 and 1018 of such law.

Subdivision 1 of section 1010 of the Real Property Tax Law provides, in part, that:

The owner, occupant or any other person may redeem any real property sold for taxes at any time within one year from the last day of sale by paying to the county treasurer, for the use of the purchaser or those claiming under him, the sum mentioned in the certificate of sale with interest thereon at the rate of ten per centum per annum computed from the date of such certificate.

Subdivision 1 of section 1018 of the Real Property Tax Law provides, in part, that:

If any parcel of real property sold for taxes is not redeemed within the time limited as provided in section ten hundred ten of this chapter, upon application in writing the county treasurer shall execute to the purchaser a conveyance of the real property sold. . .

The effect of the conveyance of the tax deed by the county treasurer is set forth in section 1020 of the Real Property Tax Law. Subdivision 1 of such section provides, in part, as follows:

A conveyance by the county treasurer pursuant to section ten hundred eighteen of this chapter shall vest in the grantee an absolute estate in fee, subject, however, to . . . (b) redemption as provided in sections ten hundred twenty-two and ten hundred twenty-four of this chapter . . . (emphasis supplied).

Subdivision 1 of section 1022 provides that as to any real property which at the time of the expiration of the one year given for the redemption thereof is actually occupied, there is an additional period of two years (i.e., three years from the date of sale) which may be reduced to six months upon service of a written notice to the occupant and filing of proof of service pursuant to the various subdivisions contained in section 1022.

The law clearly provides that when the right of redemption is not exercised within one year the county treasurer should issue a tax deed at the expiration of such one year period. Such deed is valid in all respects and may be recorded, but the deed is subject to the additional period for redemption which is applicable to occupied land. A potential grantee is on notice that any such deed whether recorded or not is subject to the conditions set forth in section 1020, among which is the additional period of redemption for occupied land. Necessarily, any tax deed issued by a county treasurer pursuant to section 1018 must be cancelled if, within the permissible additional period of redemption, the liens against the property are satisfied (Roberts v. Bisland, 38 App. Div.2d 993, 329 N.Y.S.2d 527; Selzer v. Baker, 295 N.Y. 145, 65 N.E.2d 752; Williams v. Saddlemier, 270 App. Div. 963, 62 N.Y.S.2d 128; People v. Patenaude, 286 App. Div. 140, 142 N.Y.S.2d 305).

Subdivision 1 of section 1022 provides that on application for such redemption, the county treasurer may take all material evidence offered with reference to the occupation of the real property in question. The hearing shall be had on at least ten days notice to the party applying for the redemption.

November 13, 1973.

Updated: