• Billboard Leases and Unpaid Taxes

    You can protect your billboard leases from being extinguished by a non-governmental foreclosure by recording your leases or easements.  Government foreclosure for unpaid taxes is another matter.  Read this risk disclosure on page 7 of the rating documents for the $505 million Adams Outdoor debt issue:

    “If the fee simple owner of a parcel that is currently leased to the Issuer fails to pay real estate taxes, the Issuer’s right to continue to occupy the applicable billboard site could be threatened via a foreclosure action by the local taxing authority, which may decide to extinguish the ground lease.”

    Richard Rothfelder has previously written as much in Rothfelder on taxes, foreclosures and billboard easements:

    “tax foreclosure sales by governmental entities, as opposed to debt foreclosures by lenders, almost always result in the termination of junior interests (such as leases and easements) encumbering the foreclosed fee simple property, regardless of when those interests were executed and recorded.”

    Insider’s take:  Governmental foreclosure for unpaid taxes is a risk to your billboard leases although Insider hasn’t encountered a case where a government entity foreclosed on property for unpaid taxes and they terminated a billboard lease.

    Let Insider know if you’ve got a story involving what happens to a lease after a foreclosure using the form below.

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