I inherited an empty lot in a residential neighborhood in Kingsville, Texas from my grandfather when he died several years ago. I have been paying taxes on this property since then, but I would like to stop paying taxes on this property and abandon it. Is there a legal way to go about this?
The city has recently been sending me notices telling me that I need to have the yard maintained. They are threatening to fine me if I don't do this.
I tried to sell this lot a few years ago, and that is when I discovered that the title on the property is not clear. My grandfather apparently paid cash for it when he bought it twenty years ago, and he didn't bother have the title transferred over in a legal way. The original owner has since died and his three children now have some claim on this property.
The county lists me as the owner, so I'm responsible for upkeep and taxes, and yet I can't sell it because the title is not clear. I have consulted a real estate lawyer, and he wants to charge me more money to try to fix things than the property is worth, and without any guarantees that he can clear the title.
Is there anyone versed in real estate law that can offer advice? Why can't I just abandon this lot? What can the county do to me if I just stop paying taxes? What can the city do to me if don't maintenance the yard and end up getting fines? I don't live anywhere near this town -- I'm 250 miles away in Houston. My poor grandfather thought he was doing me a favor, but it's ended up being a curse.