Renting Harlem apartments at below-market rates
The New York Times reported in July 2008 that Rangel rents four apartments at below-market rates in the Lenox Terrace complex in Harlem. It reported that Rangel paid $3,894 monthly for all four apartments in 2007. In contrast, the landlord's going rate for similar apartments in the building was as high as $8,125 monthly. Three adjacent apartments were combined to create his 2,500-square-foot (230 m2) home. A fourth unit is used as a campaign office, which violates city and state regulations that require rent-stabilized apartments to be used as a primary residence. Rangel received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from one of the landlord’s owners, according to the paper. Rangel said his rent does not affect his representation of his constituents.
Congressional ethics experts said the difference in rent between what Rangel was paying and market rates, an estimated $30,000 per year, could be construed as a gift, exceeding the $100 House of Representatives gift limit. In late July, the House voted 254–138 to table a resolution by Republican Minority Leader John Boehner that would have censured Rangel for having "dishonored himself and brought discredit to the House", by occupying the four apartments.
 House parking garage
A September 2008 New York Post article reported that Rangel had been using a House parking garage as free storage space for his Mercedes-Benz for years, in apparent violation of Congressional rules. Under IRS regulations, free parking (here, worth $290 a month) is considered imputed income, and must be declared on tax returns. In July 2010 the House Ethics Committee ruled that Rangel had committed no violation, since in practice the parking policy was only applied to Congressional staff and not to members themselves.
 Taxes on Dominican villa rental income
Rangel was accused of failing to report income from his rental of a beachside villa he owns in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. A three-bedroom, three-bath unit, it has rented out for as much as $1,100 per night in the busiest tourist season.
Labor lawyer Theodore Kheel, a principal investor in the resort development company and frequent campaign contributor to Rangel, had encouraged him to purchase the villa. Rangel purchased it in 1988 for $82,750. He financed $53,737.50 of the purchase price for seven years at an interest rate of 10.5%, but was one of several early investors whose interest payments were waived in 1990.
In September 2008, Rangel's attorney, Lanny Davis, disclosed that Rangel had failed to report on his tax returns or in congressional disclosure forms $75,000 in income he had received for renting his Dominican villa. That month, Rangel paid $10,800 to cover his liability for the related back taxes. He had owed back taxes for at least three years. The Ways and Means Committee writes the U.S. tax code, and as such his failure to pay taxes himself led to heavy criticism.
A September 14, 2008, New York Times editorial called for Rangel to step down temporarily from his chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee while his ethical problems were investigated.
On September 24, 2008, the House Ethics Committee announced that it would investigate whether Rangel had violated its code of conduct or any law or other regulation related to his performance of his duties. On November 23, 2008, The New York Post reported that Rangel took a "homestead" tax break on his Washington, DC, house for years, while simultaneously occupying multiple New York City rent-stabilized apartments, "possibly violating laws and regulations in both cases." In January 2009, Republican Representative John R. Carter introduced the Rangel Rule Act of 2009 (H.R. 735), a tongue-in-cheek proposal that would have allowed all taxpayers to not pay penalties and interest on back taxes, in reference to Rangel not yet having paid his.