TITLE 44
Taxation

CHAPTER 44-9
Tax Sales

SECTION 44-9-12


§ 44-9-12. Collector's deed – Rights conveyed to purchaser – Recording.

(a) The collector shall execute and deliver to the purchaser a deed of the land stating the cause of sale; the price for which the land was sold; the places where the notices were posted; the name of the newspaper in which the advertisement of the sale was published; the names and addresses of all parties who were sent notice in accordance with the provisions of §§ 44-9-10 and 44-9-11; the residence of the grantee; and if notice of the sale was given to the Rhode Island housing and mortgage finance corporation or to the office of healthy aging under the provisions of § 44-9-10. The deed shall convey the land to the purchaser, subject to the right of redemption. The conveyed title shall, until redemption or until the right of redemption is foreclosed, be held as security for the repayment of the purchase price with all intervening costs, terms imposed for redemption, and charges, with interest; and the premises conveyed, both before and after either redemption or foreclosure, shall also be subject to, and have the benefit of, all easements and restrictions lawfully existing in, upon, or over the land or appurtenant to the land. The deed is not valid against any intervening interests unless recorded within sixty (60) days after the sale. If the deed is recorded, it is prima facie evidence of all facts essential to the validity of the title conveyed by the deed. It shall be the duty of the collector to record the deed within sixty (60) days of the sale and to forward said deed promptly to the tax sale purchaser. The applicable recording fee shall be paid by the purchaser. The purchaser shall be reimbursed for said fee upon redemption by the redeeming party, if any. Except as provided, no sale shall give to the purchaser any right to either the possession, or the rents or profits of the land until the expiration of one year after the date of the sale, nor shall any sale obviate or transfer any responsibility of an owner of property to comply with any statute of this state or ordinance of any municipality governing the use, occupancy, or maintenance or conveyance of property until the right of redemption is foreclosed.

(b) The rents to which the purchaser shall be entitled after the expiration of one year and prior to redemption shall be those net rents actually collected by the former fee holder or a mortgagee under an assignment of rents. Rents shall not include mere rental value of the land, nor shall the purchaser be entitled to any rent for owner-occupied, single-unit residential property. For purposes of redemption, net rents shall be computed by deducting from gross rents actually collected any sums expended directly or on behalf of the tenant from whom the rent was collected. Such expenditure shall include utilities furnished, repairs made to the tenanted unit, and services provided for the benefit of the tenant. However, mortgagee payments, taxes, and sums expended for general repair and renovation (i.e. capital improvements) shall not be deductible expenses in the computation of the rent.

(c) This tax title purchaser shall not be liable for any enforcement or penalties arising from violations of environmental or minimum-housing standards prior to the expiration of one year from the date of the tax sale, or five (5) years from the date of the tax sale if the Rhode Island housing and mortgage finance corporation is the tax title purchaser pursuant to § 44-9-8.3, except for violations that are the result of intentional acts by the tax sale purchaser or his or her agents.

(d) Upon the expiration of one year after the date of the sale, the tax title holder shall be jointly and severally liable with the owner for all responsibility and liability for the property and shall be responsible to comply with any statute of this state or ordinance of any municipality governing the use, occupancy, or maintenance or conveyance of the property even prior to the right of redemption being foreclosed; except, however, that if the Rhode Island housing and mortgage finance corporation is the tax title holder pursuant to § 44-9-8.3, then joint and several liability shall arise upon the expiration of five (5) years after the date of the sale. Nothing in this section shall be construed to confer any liability upon a city or town that receives tax title as a result of any bids being made for the land offered for sale at an amount equal to the tax and charges.

(e) In the event that the tax title is acquired by the Rhode Island housing and mortgage finance corporation, and the corporation has paid the taxes due, title shall remain with the owner of the property, subject to the right of the corporation to take the property in its own name, pursuant to applicable statutes and any regulations duly adopted by the corporation. Upon such notice by the corporation, the collector shall execute and deliver a deed to the corporation as herein provided.

(f) The priority of any tax title with respect to other tax titles shall be determined by the chronological order in which the underlying tax sales were conducted, with subsequent tax titles being superior to earlier tax titles.

(g) The holder of an earlier tax title shall be entitled to exercise the right of redemption with respect to any subsequent tax title, in the manner provided in this chapter, unless and until the right to redeem the subsequent tax title is foreclosed in accordance with this chapter. The holder of an earlier tax title shall be entitled to notice of any proceedings to foreclose the right of redemption with respect to a subsequent tax title.

(h) The mere existence of a subsequent tax title shall have no effect upon:

(1) The existence or validity of an earlier tax title; or

(2) The validity of any proceedings to foreclose the right of redemption with respect to the earlier tax title, so long as the right of redemption with respect to a subsequent tax title has not been foreclosed.

(i) Any proceeding to foreclose the right of redemption with respect to an earlier tax title shall have no effect upon a subsequent tax title, and in any such proceeding, the holder of a subsequent tax title is not a necessary party.

History of Section.
(G.L. 1938, ch. 32, § 32; P.L. 1946, ch. 1800, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 44-9-12; P.L. 1985, ch. 448, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 42, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 74, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 262, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 534, § 3; P.L. 2006, ch. 537, § 3; P.L. 2010, ch. 239, § 40; P.L. 2015, ch. 247, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 271, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 112, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 121, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 210, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 324, § 1; P.L. 2018, ch. 351, § 1.)