Hiring, Renting, and Lease | Islamic Laws by The Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei


Hiring, Renting, and Lease


Q1625. Some services rendered to others require neither physical nor mental effort. In the absence of a wage rate by the government, and the fact that time spent in the provision of services is not the deciding factor, what is the criterion of deciding the remuneration?

A: The wages paid for such services can be determined by the common view. There is also no objection to both the parties of the transaction agreeing to the payment they both deem appropriate.


Q1626. I rented a house. After a while, it came to my knowledge that the landlord partly paid for the property in money made in riba. What should I do?

A: Unless it is known that the landlord bought the property with the actual money made as riba, there is no problem in making use of the property.


Q1627. The government department I work for sent me abroad on duty for a period of two months. I was paid a sum of money in hard currency as compensation for the mission. However, the duty lasted for one month only. When I returned to my country, I sold the remaining hard currency, in the open market, for more than the price I got it for. Now that I want to settle the account with the government department, should I take into account the sale price or the amount I bought it for?

A: Should the total amount have been given to you as compensation for the mission on a daily basis, you have to indemnify the department for the extra period you were not abroad. It is obligatory on you to return either the hard currency or its current value.


Q1628. An employer pays a middleman the wages of his workers. The middleman pays them less than what he receives from the employer. What is the view on such a practice?

A: The middleman — if he did so as an agent for the employer — has to return to the owner the extra amount he did not pay to the workers. It is not permissible for him to use the money unless he knows for sure that [the employer] does not mind.


Q1629. A person leased an endowed plot of land for ten years from its legal and shari trustee. The leasehold was officially registered. After the trustee passed away, his heirs claimed that the leasehold was unlawful because he [the deceased] was not capable of making a rational decision. What is the ruling in this matter?

A: Unless the actions of the trustee are proved to be invalid, the lease contract which he made should be deemed valid.


Q1630. A person rented some property that belongs to the endowments of a masjid for a particular period. After the expiry of the period of tenancy, the tenant refused to vacate the property unless he is paid a certain amount of money. Moreover, he had not paid the rent for a number of years. Is it permissible to pay him the money he asked for?

A: The tenant has no right in the property after the expiry of the tenancy. He has to vacate the property and hand it back to the landlord. He has no right in demanding any payment for vacating the property. However, if the law recognizes a right for him, he can claim it and there is no objection to be paid from the masjid endowment.


Q1631. A person rented property for a given rent and period. He paid the landlord an advance and an increased amount for the renewal of another period provided that the landlord would not demand that he vacate the property for a particular period. Otherwise, the rent of the second period should be treated on a par with the first period and the extra amount returned to the tenant.

However, prior to the expiry of the agreed period, the landlord demanded that the tenant vacate the property and withheld from the tenant the payment of the extra amount in question. What is the ruling in this matter? And is the landlord justified in demanding from the tenant the payment of a sum of money which the landlord incurred as a result of redecorating the house, despite the fact that there is no agreement to this effect between the two parties?

A: If it was stipulated in the tenancy agreement that the tenant pays, for the second period of rent, an amount equivalent to the rent of the first period provided that he vacates the property before the agreed date, the landlord has no right to demand any extra payment contrary to this. He should, therefore, return this amount, if he has already received it, to the tenant. The tenant does not have to pay the landlord anything towards the cost of repairing or redecorating the property.


Q1632. A person rented two rooms from their owner on a monthly basis and received the keys. The tenant started moving some of his household appliances into the rooms. When he went away to bring his family, he failed to turn up. The landlord does not know what happened to the tenant. Has the landlord the right to do with the rooms what he likes? What should he do with the personal belongings of the absent tenant?

A: If the lease was not materialized in a proper and shari manner, even by failing to determine the period, the tenant has no right in the property and the landlord can occupy the rooms. However, the household appliance of the tenant should be considered as though they have been deposited in trust with the landlord who should keep them safe. The landlord has the right to demand, from the tenant after his return, payment of the normal rent [i.e. not the specified one because the contract is void] for the rooms which remained locked and occupied by his personal belongings.

Yet, should the lease have been concluded in a proper way, the landlord has to wait until the period comes to a close whereby he can demand from the tenant the rent for the entire period. As for the period in excess of the agreed one, it should be treated as though the contract was invalid at the outset.


Q1633. A group of company employees live in accommodations provided by the company. The agent of the landlord claims that there is an ongoing dispute with the company over the rent. He further adds that until the court settles the dispute, the landlord does not consider the tenants as having the right to occupy the property, among which is the invalidity, according to him, of their prayers. Is it obligatory that they repeat their prayers or is nothing required from them because they were not aware of the situation?

A: On the assumption that the lease was proper, the employees do not need any new permission from the landlord to use the property. Accordingly, their prayers are valid. However, even on the assumption that the lease is void or that it came to an end, any prayer performed on the premises is deemed valid, because they were unaware of the situation. Therefore, they are not required to repeat the prayers.


Q1634. An employee owns property in the town where he works. He rented it to a person and moved to an accommodation provided by the company he works for, contrary to the rules and regulations which clearly make such a practice illegal. What would the tenants position be when he comes to know about the employees contravening the law?

A: It is not permissible for anyone to move into properties provided by the company when they are not entitled to do so by virtue of the rules and regulations in force. However, there is no harm in renting out the property owned by the employee to the others. Nor is there any harm in the others renting such property and consequently having the right to use the property.


Q1635. In a lease, the landlord stipulated that the tenant should pay the equivalent of the rent plus a surcharge for every day he stays in the property after the expiry date of the lease. Does the tenant become indebted to the landlord with the amount he undertook to pay in the agreement?

A: He has to honor the terms stipulated in a binding contract.


Q1636. A person rented some property jointly to two people, on the condition that the tenants do not sublet the property to a third party unless the landlord agrees to it. However, one of the tenants transferred his share to his partner without the consent of the landlord. Does this amount to a transfer to a third party?

A: This transfer is a transfer to a third party unless there is something in the contract which prevents “transfer to the third party” to include “transfer to the partner.”


Q1637. I bought a four-year lease of a plot of arable land alongside a share of the irrigation water. The landlord and I agreed that he has the right to cancel the contract at the beginning of the second year. However, the landlord did not exercise this right and received the rent for the third year, giving me a receipt for that. Is it permissible for the landlord or another party, who claims to be the new owner, to have the right of disposal in the leased property before the expiry date?

A: Since the landlord did not cancel the contract at the time when it was within his right to do so, it is not permissible for him to cancel the agreement. If he sold the property to another person after the period, when he was supposed to exercise the right of revocation, this does not render the contract void. Indeed, the new landlord should wait until the expiry of the contract period.


Q1638. I rented a business property to a person, on the condition that he uses it to trade in foodstuffs. This has been provided for in the lease agreement. The tenant did not abide by the condition. Is it permissible for him to go about his business in this way? And am I justified in canceling the lease agreement by default?

A: The tenant has to conduct himself according to the terms of the contract laid down by the landlord. If he defaults, the landlord has the right to cancel the agreement by default.


Q1639. On starting work for a company, its official undertook to pay me salary plus the usual allowances for accommodation, holidays, and insurance contributions. Despite the fact that many years have passed, the company has not honored its undertaking. Since I do not have a written contract with the company, am I justified in demanding my rights by starting legal proceedings against the company?

A: It is permissible for you to have recourse to the law to restore your rights.


Q1640. A person leased a plot of arable land which was endowed for religious purposes. The land used to be irrigated with rainfall. Since the yield of the land was meager, the leaseholder, subsidized by a government grant, transformed it into an artificially irrigated land:

. How should the leaseholder pay for it, i.e., as land irrigated by rain or by artificial means?

b. How should the lease be paid, especially when a government grant has been involved?

c. Since it is an endowment whose proceeds are to be used for holding a ten-day assembly commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.), should the leaseholder spend the rent for the same thing?

d. If the trustee refuses to receive the rent, can the leaseholder pay it to the authorized religious authority?

A: Providing for the irrigation of the land by way of drilling a well, digging a ditch, and the like instead of depending on rainfall, should not call for the increase, or decrease for that matter, of rent of the land. That is, on the assumption that the contract had been concluded in a proper way. Whether the cost of investing in the new irrigation system was incurred by the trustee, the leaseholder, or was subsidized by a government grant is immaterial.

However, should the change have taken place before the contract was concluded, or after it expired yet before the renewal of the contract, it is incumbent on the trustee to determine an equitable rent, taking into account all that which has been installed in the land [to improve its productivity].

The rent of the endowment should be spent according to the terms of the endowment. The amount of the rent is dependent, at all times, on the opinion of the shari trustee, who should not lose sight of the interests of the endowment at the time of leasing it.

It is not permissible to make use of the endowment without leasing it from the shari trustee and having his permission. Otherwise, it amounts to usurpation.

It is not sufficient to pay the rent to the department of endowments, or to any other fund, with a view to making use of the endowment. However, if the trustee refuses to receive the rent during the period of the lease, there is no problem in making use of the leased land by the leaseholder. In this case, the rent is to be spent in area of endowment after coordination with the authorized religious authority (i.e. a mujtahid).


Q1641. Should the tenant ask the landlord to carry out certain repairs and modifications to the property, who should bear the cost of such work?

A: If the property was in the same condition when the lease began, the landlord does not have to accede to the request of the tenant. However, if he accedes, he should meet the cost of the repairs and modifications to his property. The request by the tenant from the landlord [to carry out the work] should not entail his bearing any expenses.


Q1642. A person hired a person to recite the Holy Quran in a mourning ceremony. The hired person forgot to dedicate it to the person who hired him. However, after he finished the service, he wanted to make an amends by dedicating it to the person who asked him. Is he right in doing so and should, therefore, receive the agreed fee?

A: To do that after he had finished the recitation is not right, especially after he did not intend to do so during the delivery of his recitation. Therefore, he is not entitled to get paid.


Q1643. I went with an estate agent to view some property. Immediately after that, I decided that I was not interested in buying it. However, I went with another person to view the same property. The sale was concluded without the knowledge of the estate agent. Is the estate agent justified in demanding a commission?

A: The estate agent has the right to demand a compensation for recommending the viewing of the property and accompanying the buyer to do the viewing. However, since he was not involved in concluding the sale, he has no right in demanding a fee for the transaction.


Q1644. Someone put his property in the market for sale through a real estate agent. The latter managed to introduce a buyer for the property. Both the buyer and the seller agreed to bypass the real estate agent and go ahead with the sale in order to avoid paying the agent his commission. Should the buyer and the seller pay the agent his fees?

A: Approaching the real estate agent per se does not necessarily mean that he is entitled to the fee of carrying out the transaction. However, if he has carried out any work for either party, he is entitled to be paid the normal wage for the work he has done.


Q1645. A person rented a place from another for a given rent and period. After a while, he cancelled the lease agreement. Can his action be deemed shari? And on the assumption that he was right in what he did, has the landlord the right to demand the rent for the days during which the tenant was occupying the property?

A: The tenant is not justified in canceling the lease agreement from one side unless he legally has the right of revocation. Even on the assumption that he has such a right, he is required to pay the rent for the period prior to the cancellation date.


Q1646. A person leased a piece of arable land, on the condition that he bears all the expenses arising from drilling a well in the land. The leaseholder got the permission for drilling the well from the government in his name and got it running. However, a year later the landlord cancelled the lease from one side. What is the ruling in the matter of the well and its equipment, i.e. does it remain in the ownership of the leaseholder or is it for the landlord?

A: As long as the lease is still in force, neither party has the right to cancel it. At any rate, the well remains part of the land and, thus, in the ownership of the landlord unless there is a condition that may suggest otherwise. As for the machinery and equipment attached to the well and all the items the tenant bought with his own money, they are his. Furthermore, if the two parties have agreed, in the contract, that the tenant has the right to make use of the well, he enjoys the right.


Q1647. Two government departments signed an agreement whereby one of them gave the other the right of using a part of a building that belongs to one of them. In return for this the recipient department allocated funds in its budget to be used, during the tenure, by the department which put its property at the disposal of the other. Is it permissible for these departments to do so?

A: There is no harm in the transaction provided that it is done through a valid lease contract with the legal approval of the official responsible for the building. A term stipulated in a lease contract is valid provided that it does not violate Islamic law.


Q1648. What is the shari justification of what has become common these days of leaving a deposit by the tenant with the landlord?

A: There is no objection to the landlord renting his property to the tenant for a particular period and a given rent on the condition that the tenant give him an amount of money as loan, although the landlord lowers the rent in the contract below the going rate due to the deposit.

Yet, the deal is both invalid and Haram if it takes any of the following forms:

a. The landlord borrows the money from the tenant in return for giving the latter the right of occupying the property.

b. The rent, whether at the going rate or less or more, is deemed a kind of a lending and borrowing transaction, culminating in giving the tenant the right, in the debt contract, of making use of the property.


Q1649. If the goods, being transported to the buyer, have sustained any damage or loss en route, is the hauling company responsible for compensating the owner the price of the goods?

A: Should the haulage company, which is charged with delivering the goods to their final destination, have gone about its job in a proper manner, and was not at fault, it should not be made to pay any compensation unless such compensation is provided for in the contract.


Q1650. A herdsman brought the herd in his trust to its enclosure and closed the gate. He retired to his home, which is situated some sixteen kilometers away, to spend the night there. A pack of wolves attacked the sheep and preyed on them. Is it obligatory on the owner of the sheep to pay the shepherd his wages?

A: If the shepherd was not responsible for guarding the enclosure of the herd during the night and he was not found guilty of dereliction of his duty as far as safeguarding the sheep is concerned, he should not be made to compensate for the destroyed sheep. Furthermore, he has the right to demand the payment of his wages in full.


Q1651. A person had some property. He put it at the disposal of his neighbor without any thing in return. The neighbor has had a free hand with the property for a number of years. The landlord passed away. His heirs laid a claim to the ownership of the property and asked the neighbor to hand it over to them. He refused to accede to their request and filed a counter claim to the effect that the property was his, without producing any evidence to substantiate such a claim. What is the ruling in this matter?

A: In two cases the property is restored to the heirs as the real owner: a) the heirs prove in any shari way that the property belonged to their legator; b) the person, who currently occupies the property, admits that the property had belonged to the legator, but claims that it became his for any reason, without proving it in any shari way.


Q1652. A person left his watch in a shop for repair. The shop was broken into and the watch was stolen. Is the shop owner responsible for compensating the owner of the watch?

A: Unless it is proved that the shop owner was at fault, he cannot be held responsible to pay compensation.


Q1653. An agent works for a foreign company to sell its products. He gets a commission calculated as a percentage of the total price of the sold goods. Is this shari? Assuming that a government official has a connection with the agent, is it permissible for the official to get paid part of the commission?

A: There is no objection to the agent taking the commission if it is considered a fee for selling the products on behalf of a company, being governmental or non-governmental, foreign or domestic. However, the government official has no right to receive any other remuneration or gift for performing his governmental duty for which he receives a salary.