If the purchaser of the certificate holds that certificate for a period of two years from the date of delinquency and the property owner does not pay the tax, the certificate holder may file a tax deed application with the Tax Collector on April 1st. For example, certificates issued on June 1, 2014 were eligible for tax deed application on April 1, 2016. The property owner is notified of this action and if the owner still does not pay the taxes, the property will be sold to the highest bidder in a public sale conducted by the Clerk of the Circuit Court. A list of the upcoming tax deed sales by the Clerk and the property that may be available to be purchased may be downloaded below:
Please note that if the taxes are paid prior to the sale, the property will not be sold.
All applications for tax deed are made online at the RealTDA website. Tax deed cost estimates are also available on the website prior to completing the application. The applicant is required to pay all outstanding taxes, a title search fee and an application fee. Once the title search is completed, additional fees (approximately $200) to process the application will be required. The total amount of the application, including interest, will become the opening bid. The property owner and all recorded interests in the property will be notified by certified mail of the sale date and the amount due to prevent the sale. If the application is not redeemed, the property will be sold to the highest bidder at a public sale. If the property is homesteaded on the current tax roll, 1/2 of the assessed value will be added to the opening bid. The highest bidder will receive a tax deed from the Clerk of the Circuit Court. This is not the same as a Warranty Deed and more steps may be necessary to obtain a clear title. If someone other than the applicant is the highest bidder, the applicant will receive all money invested at time of tax deed application plus interest at 1.5% per month. When the highest bid is greater than the amount of the opening bid, all parties with a recorded interest are notified there are excess funds. After all claims have been satisfied, any additional money is sent to the original property owner.
Prior to applying for a tax deed it may be advisable to check for any existing liens against the property. Sec 197.552, Florida Statutes, provides that unsatisfied governmental liens shall survive the issuance of a tax deed.