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Even if they are going to be left in place, they have titles and the titles have to be transferred and as such sales tax must be paid on the purchase. If you are making such a purchase, it is suggested to protect yourself from personal liability as a landlord that you make the purchase under a Limited Liability Company or a Corporation which you should form before making the purchase (a LLC or corporation owner is not personally liable for any legal damages from actions against the LLC or corporation).
The only way you would not pay sales tax on the purchase would be if they were already in a company (LLC or corporation) and you were buying the company itself with its assets, because then the home titles would all remain in the name of the existing company and only ownership of the company transfers and is filed with the Secretary of State.
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