Due to the current global financial crisis there is increasing interest in the Islamic Economic System, the most comprehensive book on this topic is 'The Economic System of Islam' by Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabhani. However as people have many questions relating to the Islamic rules of trade we will be posting related extracts from the draft translation of the Fiqh masterpiece 'The Islamic Personality, Volume 2' by Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabhani.
RENTING HOUSES FOR RESIDENCE/DWELLING (SUKNA)
Whoever rents immovable property (house) for residence/dwelling, then he himself can reside therein and he can accommodate anyone else he wants therein if he takes his place because he has the right to receive that which is contracted over by himself or his representative. Whoever resides therein is his representative in receiving what was contracted upon so it is permitted just as if he delegated an (wakeel) agent in taking possession of the sold thing. He has (yasna’) the right to do in the house what is the custom of the tenant (farash) to do beddings furniture, food etc.
However, the tenant cannot accommodate in the house which he rented anyone whose harm would be worse than his own harm upon the house. So he should not accommodate therein one who would harm the house such as bleachers or blacksmiths if the tenant himself is not a bleacher or blacksmith because that is harmful to it, and it is more than the benefit upon which the contract was convened. The contract was concluded upon a benefit which is known for such house, even if by mutual acquaintance, so it is not permitted for him to receive a benefit greater than the one over which the rent contract was concluded.
It is not required in renting the house for accommodation to explicitly state the residence. Rather it is permitted to make the contract unrestricted without being necessary to mention residence nor its description because the house is not rented except for accommodation so there is no need to mention it, and because the variance in accommodation is small, so there is no need to be recorded. He can rent the house to another tenant for the same period of his (own) rent. If the rent occurs upon each month for a known thing (rent), it is not for either of them to annul (it) except after the end of each month. However the tenancy the first month is bound therein due to the unrestricted nature of the contract, because it is known and follows the contract and for it has a known rent. Whichever month after it the contract is bound in it by being involved therein i.e. residence in the house. Once he is involved in, then the entry in is designated, so it becomes valid the first contract. If he was not involved in, or the contract was annulled at the end of the first month, then it is annulled.
Whenever involvement is left in a month, then the renting is not proved in it due to the absence of the contract. If he said, ‘I rented to you my house for twenty months for so much for each month’ it is permitted because the period is known and its rent is known. It is not allowed for either of them to annul the contract in any situation because it is one period. If he rents a house for the period of a year then it appeared to him to annul it before the end of the year, full rent is obliged upon him.
If someone rents his house, it is upon the landlord to complete what would facilitate the tenant to benefit (of it) like delivering the keys for the house, paving the bathroom, making the doors, running of water and all that is required to repair or provide, to facilitate the benefiting with the house. As for what is necessary to use the benefits like delivering the ladder, rope, bucket, the water meter and the electricity meter, these are the duty of the tenant. As for what is necessary for improvement and decoration, these are not obliged on either of them because utilising (the home) is possible without them.
As for whitening the house, bleaching the sink and water-closet, if that was required at the time of renting then it is obliged upon the landlord since this is among what facilitates the utilization, but if they were filled by the tenant’s action, then it is duty upon him to empty them. As for removing the rubbish, then it is duty upon the tenant. If the landlord stipulates upon the tenant in the rent contract to pay the expenses of what the Shar’a obliged upon him of what facilitates the use (of the home), the condition is invalid, for it contradicts the requirement of the contract. Similarly if the tenant were to stipulate upon the landlord to pay the expenses obliged upon the tenant, the condition is invalid as well for it contradicts the contract’s requirement. If the landlord and tenant die, or either of them, the renting remains as it is because renting is a binding contract which is not annulled by as long as the matter contracted upon is sound.