Thursday, December 08, 2016

tax sale - MCTLA - redemption - mixed-use property

City of Philadelphia v. Phan – Commonwealth Court – October 24, 2016

Owner of property which was mixed-use (barber shop ground floor; residential apartment on second) was entitled to redeem it from tax sale under 53 P.S. 7293, the Municipal Claims and Tax Liens Act.

The purpose of sheriffs’ sales under the Act is not to strip owners of their property, but to collect delinquent taxes. City of Philadelphia v. F.A. Realty Investors Corporation, 95 A.3d 377, 384 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2014). Thus, the Act provides property owners with the ability to recover tax-delinquent properties both prior to and after sheriffs’ sales thereof. See Sections 31 and 32 of the Act, 53 P.S. §§7292-7293, which allows redemption of a property which has been “occupied as a residence. . . for at least ninety days prior to the date of the sale and continues to be so occupied on the date of the acknowledgment of the sheriff's deed therefor.”  53 P.S. §7293(a), (c)

There is no requirement in the statute that the entire property have been occupied as a residence, and the Cout refused to imply one.  Nor is there a requirement that the residence be owner-occupied.  Here, the residential part of the unit was a rental property.

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