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I live in a rent-controlled apartment in Washington DC, and my landlord engages in a scheme to get around Washington DC’s rent control laws. How it works is that my nominal rent is $2000, but I get a $300 rent concession every month, so that I effectively only pay $1700 per month. That way, the landlord can increase my rent next year to something a little more than $2000, while complying with the legal limits on how much the rent on rent-controlled apartments can go up. Quite a few apartment complexes in Washington DC engage in this practice, and the DC government is currently working on changing the law to eliminate this loophole.

But in the mean time, I’m trying to figure out how this rent concession affects my taxes. Specifically, the DC Homeowner and Renter Property Tax Credit depends on the amount of rent you paid in the last year. My question is, does “rent paid” mean the nominal amount of rent paid, or does it mean the actual effective amount of rent paid taking the rent concession into account?

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