Usage of past, present, and future tense in ownership
My co workers and I are in disagreement over how a phrase should be worded using proper English in the legal documents we type into our computer system.
If one were to say (using proper English) that John Smith used to own a piece of property would one say:
“The current tenant states that John Smith IS the previous owner of 2400 Green Cir.”
OR would one say:
“The current tenant states that John Smith WAS the previous owner of 2400 Green Cir.”
Which way is correct? And WHY (please explain why the correct way is correct--what rules apply, etc.).