Is my lease valid if my landlord is not reporting the income to the IRS?

UPDATED: Oct 10, 2011

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Is my lease valid if my landlord is not reporting the income to the IRS?

I hate my landlord, want to leave. But I’m stuck under the lease. He does not report any earnings from me to the IRS. What can I do?

Asked on October 10, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, whether or not your landlord is a tax cheat has literally nothing to do with the validity of your lease. Regardless of how your landlord honors (or doesn't honor) his other lawful obligations, if he has honored all the important terms of your lease (e.g. the apartment is habitable, you have possession of it, etc.), you are bound by the lease.

You could certainly choose to report the landlord to the IRS (and/or local state taxing authorities); doing so may give you a feeling of vindication, may be your civic duty as you conceive, and *possibly* could entitle you to some "whistleblower" award . . . but it will not affect the validity or enforceability of your lease.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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