Question:

I have a co-op. The management company forgot to charge me for a 2nd parking space for 3 and a half years. Now they want to collect the whole amount right away when it was their mistake. I paid the annual bill they sent me and thought it was all-inclusive. I paid monthly.

I am willing to compromise with them and pay most of this amount (although my lawyer says the debt is invalid).

Would you please advise me, Rabbi?

Answer:

Technically, if the dept is invalid legally then you don’t have to pay it halachically, because of the rule of dina d’malchusa dina, (the local laws are binding (in many cases) halachically. Note: I cannot say that legally it isn’t valid, I am only saying this based on what you wrote.) However you also have to be careful not to make a Chillul Hashem and the management company should not think that you are cheating them out of what is coming to them. Therefore it is advisable for you to come to a compromise with them, although they should know that the debt is invalid, (if it indeed is).

Tags: Dina DeMalchusa rental

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