Can a lease supersede state lawor force me to waive my legal rights?

UPDATED: Aug 31, 2011

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Can a lease supersede state lawor force me to waive my legal rights?

My lease forces me to waive my right to CA Civil Code section 1499 – receiving a signed and dated receipt for rent and deposits. My landlord forces me to deposit my rent as cash into his bank account, I believe to aid his non-payment of capital gains taxes on his rental unit, and allowing him to falsely claim that he lives on the property. I would like my receipts because I am moving out and he is acting in a manner that makes me believe I will have to sue for return of my security deposit and I would like to be well documented in court.

Asked on August 31, 2011 California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

California Civil Code section 1499 states "a debtor has the right to require from his creditor a written receipt for any property delivered in performance of his obligation." The provisions of this code sectoon can be waived by the debtor, or tenant in this case.

If you now want receipts from your landlord for prior rental payments, I suggest you write him or her requesting that you be provided receipts for all prior rental payments mentioning that you are currently paid up to date. Keep a copy of this letter for future reference. This letter in essence if not responded to could be your receipt requested.

I suspect that the reason why your landlord desires cash payments is because he is not reporting your rent as income for federal and state income tax purposes. If he or she becomes uncooperative with you at move out, you could always contact California's Franchise Tax Board or the Internal Revenue Service about how he might not be reporting all income on his state and federal tax returns.

Good luck.


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