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Redemption Period for Sheriff Sale Properties
Redemption Period only for Residential Properties
If you own a residential property and it was sold at a Sheriffs Sale to satisfy a tax or municipal claim, then Pennsylvania law allows you to reclaim (re-purchase) your property. You have up to nine (9) months after the Sheriffs Sale to exercise this right. To reclaim your property, you must meet the following requirements:
1. The property should have been occupied by the same individual or basic family unit
2. The property should have been occupied for at least ninety (90) days prior to the date of the sale.
3. You must reimburse the subsequent buyer for the following costs:
a. the amount of the tax or municipal claim
b. the cost of recording the deed
c. the insurance on the property
d. charges and necessary expenses for maintaining or improving the property
e. plus 10 percent interest.
A new law decided recently by the Pennsylvania Superior Court suggests that if you own a mixed-use property, where the bottom level was used for a commercial purpose (like a bar), and the upper level was used for residential purposes (like an apartment), then you may also have the right to redeem the property after a Sheriffs Sale, providing you meet all the other legal requirements.
This case, however, emphasizes an overlooked legal requirement someone must have been living in the property for at least ninety (90) days prior to the Sheriffs Sale. If your property was vacant for ninety (90) days before the sale, then you do not have the right to redeem (re-purchase) it, even if the property was residential.
See Lamm v. Fisher, 2006 Pa. Super 185 (July 19, 2006).
Ms. Sharmil McKee is a business attorney licensed in Pennsylvania. She focuses her practice on protecting small businesses and non- profits from future legal problems. Visit her firm’s website http://www.mckeeoffice.com for more information.