Miscellaneous Rulings Pertaining to Renting
2221. The rent should be known. Hence, if it is amongst the things that are transacted based on weight, such as wheat, then its weight must be known. If it be amongst the things that are transacted by count, such as modern day currencies, its count must be known. If it be like horses and sheep, the lessor must see them for himself, or the lessee must describe their specifications to him.
2222. If a person leases out a piece of land, and sets its rent to be the produce of the very same land, or of another land, the produce of (both of) which is non-existent at the time of the rental contract, the rental agreement will not be valid. However, if the rent is existent at the time of the rental contract, or he rents it out for an abstractly defined rent, there will be no objection to it.
2223. A lessor may not demand the rent before handing over the leased item, unless he has stipulated the rent to be paid prior to handing over the leased item. Similarly, if a person has been hired to perform a particular task, he may not demand its payment prior to completing the task, unless he has stipulated the payment to be paid prior to performing the task, or if it is normal and conventional to do so, such as being hired to perform qa¤¡ prayers, fasts or Hajj.
2224. Whenever a lessor hands over the leased item, the lessee must pay its rent, even if he does not accept possession of it, or does so, but does not use it to the end of the rental period.
2225. If a person is hired to perform a particular task on a particular day, and he shows up to perform that task on that day, the one who has hired him must pay him, even if he chooses not to give that task to him. For example, if a person hires a tailor to stitch a dress on a particular day, and on that day the tailor is prepared to perform that task, he must pay him for it, even if he does not give him the cloth to tailor the dress, and regardless of whether the tailor is unemployed, self-employed, or employed by someone else.
2226. If after the end of the rental period, it becomes apparent that the rental agreement was not valid, the renter must offer the lessor an equivalent rent. However, if the equivalent rent is greater than the rent agreed within the rental agreement, then in the event that the lessor was the owner of the property, or his deputy, obligatory precaution dictates that they should arrive at a compromise settlement with respect to the amount that exceeds the specified rent. Similarly, if upon the passage of a part of the rental period, it becomes apparent that the rental agreement was not valid, the same ruling will apply to the rent of the period that has elapsed.
2227. If the rented item perishes, the renter will not be held responsible for it as long as he was not negligent in safeguarding it, nor immoderate in using it. Similarly, if the cloth given to a tailor gets destroyed, the tailor will not be held responsible for it as long as he was not negligent in taking care of it, nor immoderate in its use.
2228. Whenever a craftsman damages or destroys the material that he takes, he will be held responsible for it.
2229. If a butcher slaughters an animal, in a manner that renders it har¡m, he will have to give its value to the owner, regardless of whether he has taken wages for slaughtering it, or has performed it free of charge.
2230. If a person rents an animal, and specifies the weight of the load he can place on it, then if he loads an amount that is greater than it, and the animal dies or develops a defect, he will be held responsible for it. Similarly, if he had not specified the load amount, but loaded an amount that is greater than what is normal, and the animal perishes or develops a defect, he will be held responsible for it. In both cases, he must pay the equivalent rent for the excess use of the animal.
2231. If a person rents out an animal for the purpose of carrying fragile items, and the animal slips or stampedes, causing the load to break, the owner will not be held responsible for it. However, if he (the owner of the animal) causes the animal to fall by beating it or doing something similar, whereby causing the goods to break, then given that the owner of the items had not permitted it, the owner of the animal will be responsible for it.
2232. If a person circumcises a baby with the permission of its guardian, and causes harm to the baby, or causes it to die, he will be held responsible if he cut more than the normal amount. However, if he did not cut more than the normal amount, was skilled at circumcising, while not falling short in treating it, and the guardian did not charge him with the task of determining any possible complications, then in the case of causing harm, to claim that he is excusable is problematic, unless he had obtained a waiver from the guardian. As for the case of causing death, if he had not obtained a waiver from the guardian, he will be held responsible for it.
2233. If a doctor himself prescribes a medicine to a patient, and errs in treating him, whereby causing harm to the patient, or causing him to die, the doctor will be responsible for it. However, if he simply states, “This particular medicine is beneficial for this particular illness,” leaving the patient to decide for himself, and consuming it causes harm to the patient, or causes him to die, the doctor will not be responsible for it.
2234. If a doctor states to a patient, “If you are harmed (by this medicine), I am not responsible for it,” then in the event that he is a professional doctor, and exercises due care and precaution, but it causes harm to the patient, or causes him to die, the doctor will not be responsible for it, even though he may himself have given the medicine to the patient.
2235. A lessor and a lessee may cancel the lease agreement with each other’s consent. Similarly, if they stipulate within the lease agreement that both of them, or one of them, has the right to cancel the lease, they may cancel the lease in accordance to their agreement.
2236. If the lessor or the lessee realizes after leasing that he has been cheated, he may cancel the lease. However, if they had stipulated within the lease agreement that even if one of them had been cheated, he does not reserve the right to cancel the lease, they cannot cancel the lease.
2237. If a person rents out an item, and it is usurped before he can hand it over, the lessee can cancel the lease, and claim back the payment that he had given to the lessor. He can also choose not to cancel the lease, and instead claim back the amount pertaining to the period wherein the leased item is in the possession of the usurper, from the usurper, based on the normal rent, which is the equivalent rent. Therefore, if he rents an animal for a month for $100, and someone usurps it for 10 days, and the equivalent rent for 10 days is $150 dollars, he may claim $150 dollars from the usurper.
2238. If a lessee takes possession of the leased item, and then it is usurped by someone else, the lessee does not have the right to cancel the lease. He only reserves the right to claim the rent from the usurper according to its equivalent rent.
2239. If the lessor sells the land to the lessee before the completion of the rental period, the lease is not nullified. The lessee will have to pay the rent. The same applies if he sells it to someone else.
2240. If prior to the commencement of the rental period, the (rented) land gets destroyed to an extent that renders is entirely unusable, or renders it unusable for the purpose that it was rented for, the rental agreement will be void, and the tenant is refunded the amount that he had paid to the landlord. If the land is in a state that the tenant can only make minimal use of it, he reserves the right to cancel the lease.
2241. If a person leases a land, and after the passage of a part of the lease period, the land gets destroyed to an extent that renders it entirely unusable, or renders it unusable for the purpose that it was leased for, the lease for the remaining period is rendered void. The tenant may also cancel the lease for the preceding period, and pay the equivalent rent for that period.
2242. If a house that contains—for example—two rooms is rented out, and one of the rooms gets destroyed, then in the event that the features that were destroyed were not the subject of the rent, and the landlord immediately rebuilds the room, wherein none of its usability is lost, the rental agreement will not become void. Additionally, the tenant will not reserve any right to cancel the agreement. However, if the reconstruction period takes so long that a period of the tenant’s use of the property is lost, the agreement becomes void for that period. Additionally, the tenant also reserves the right to cancel the rental agreement for the entire rental period, and pay the equivalent rent for the period that he had made use of the house.
2243. If the lessor or the lessee passes away, the lease agreement does not become void. However, if the house is not the property of the lessor, such as the case wherein a person specifies in his will that as long as he (the lessor) is alive, all the benefits derived from the house belong to him, then in the event that he rents out the house and prior to the end of the lease agreement, passes away, the lease will become uncommissioned from the time that he passes away. If the current owner of the house accepts the lease for its remaining period, it will be sanctioned, and the rent for the period remaining after the death of the original lessor—in the event that the current owner accepts the lease—will belong to the current owner.
2244. If an employer deputizes a contractor to recruit workers for him, and the contractor pays the workers an amount that is less than what he receives from the employer, it is forbidden for him to partake of the difference, and he must return it to the employer.
However, if he is hired to construct a building, and he reserves the right to construct it himself or to subcontract the task, then in the event that he constructs a part of it himself, and subcontracts the rest for an amount that is less than what he was hired for, it will be permissible for him to partake of the difference.
2245. If a person who dyes clothes agrees to—for example—dye a cloth indigo, and instead he dyes it another color, he will reserve no right to claim any payment.