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Paying the Board

I own an apartment in Queens N.Y.in which i am renting it out to people. The official rule of the Building is that if one wants to rent out to other he must inform the Board of the Building and they will take a percentage of the rent. However, it seems the Board isnt makpid on such a rule and don’t bother with any actions to ensure this.In fact, my son-in law told me that the own President of the Building rents out his apartment to others and didn’t inform the Board. Is there any problem of with the rent I received until now and in the future without informing the Board?(the building is owned by non-jews)?

Answer:

For the rent you received until now, there is no problem. For the future, if it is really “standard practice” not to inform the Board, and nobody would blink an eyelid at it, then there is no problem. However, if the rental can be found out, and if it is found out you would be frowned upon as a lawbreaker, then you ought to pay from now on.

Sources: Assuming that the law is clear, and that it is enforced (as above), the question would fall into the dispute among authorities over whether the permission of hafka’as halva’aso applies when in conflict with dina demalchusa (see Shulchan Aruch, CM 369:6, Shulchan Aruch and Rema, Biur Hagra; see also Maharsham 4:22, who is lenient, yet this is a minority opinion). There is room to differentiate between regular taxation, and the Board, which is a private group, and for which the principles of hafkaas halvaaso can apply. However, even if we are lenient in this respect, the concern for chilul Hashem must be taken into account, depending on the circumstances.

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