Fatwas on Sarqoflī Rulings
Q1653: If the landlord declines to renew the lease, is it permissible for the tenant, who rented a shop for a given period, to refuse to vacate the shop unless he is paid a sarqoflī? And is it permissible for him to claim the right of sarqoflī, especially when he has no right to transfer the lease to a third party?
A: The tenant has no right to remain in the property and refuse to hand it over to the landlord after the expiry of the lease. However, it is permissible for him to demand a sarqoflī from the landlord if he has such right by virtue of acquiring it from the landlord or by law.
Q1654: I leased a business property from its owner and paid him an amount as a sarqoflī for the property. I spent a lot of money to renovate the property. Ten years later, the heirs of the landlord have requested me to vacate the property and return it to them. Do I have to accede to their request? On the assumption that I have to, can I demand from them to pay me all the expenditure I incurred? And can I demand from them to pay me the sarqoflī for the property at the market price?
A: Whether the landlord should renew the lease or be allowed to demand vacant possession of the property as well as compensation for the money spent for the property are matters for the law of the land or the provisions of the lease contract signed by both the landlord and the tenant.
As for the sarqoflī for vacating the property, if it was transferred to the tenant by the landlord in a shar‘ī manner, or became thus by the force of the law, he has the right to demand payment of the real value of sarqoflī.
Q1655: A landlord rented a building to a company without charging it sarqoflī. Is the landlord required to pay sarqoflī to the company on vacating the building? And if the landlord sells the property to the same company should he deduct an amount equivalent to sarqoflī?
A: Unless the right to demand payment of sarqoflī by the tenant has been conferred on him in a shar‘ī manner, by way of buying, a muṣālaḥah, or a condition in a binding contract, or a law, he is not justified in demanding from the landlord anything in return for foregoing sarqoflī. Nor is the tenant justified in deducting an amount from the purchase price of the property for the sarqoflī if he buys it from the landlord.
Q1656: My father bought a string of business properties and registered them in the names of his sons. However, in his lifetime, he was conducting his business on these properties. Do sarqoflī of these properties belong to the three sons or to the inheritors at large?
A: Sarqoflī of property is tied in with the property itself. Its ownership should, therefore, belong to the rightful owners of the property. That is unless it is transferred from the owner to another party in a shar‘ī way.
Q1657: A tenant paid a landlord a sum of money as sarqoflī for the property he leased. After a while, the tenant decided to vacate the property. Is it obligatory on the landlord to return to the tenant the amount of money he paid him at the time? Or should sarqoflī reflect the market price at the time of vacating the property?
A: Should the tenant lawfully have the right in sarqoflī, it is within his right to demand the payment of such sarqoflī at an equitable rate on the day. For his part, the landlord should pay the tenant the going rate. However, if the tenant had deposited a sum of money with the landlord, on the day the tenancy commenced, to be returned to them once they vacated the property; he is entitled only to demand the payment of that sum of money. As to difference in money value, there is a caution to reach a settlement.
Q1658: I leased some property without paying a sarqoflī because it was not common practice in our town at the time of entering into the lease agreement. After the death of the landlord, the property reverted to his sons who have demanded that I vacate the property. During the period of the tenancy, I incurred some expenditure that arose from carrying out some work on the property such as rewiring and maintenance. There are many people indebted to me as a result of my business dealings with them. Do I have to respond positively to the request of the new owner and vacate the property without getting any thing in return? And should I have any right, how can I go about quantifying it?
A: After the expiry of lease contract you do not have any right to use the property nor to refuse to vacate the property and hand it over to the owner, who declined to renew the lease. However, matters like the landlord responding favorably to the request of renewing the lease, whether it is within his right to have vacant possession of the property and whether the tenant has to accede to his request are subject to the laws in force and the conditions laid down in the contract.
As for demanding some payment in return for vacating the property, you are not entitled to such money. This is because the established practice in the area at the time of leasing the property did not confer on you the right of demanding Sarqoflī for vacating the property and such right was not handed down from the landlord to you unless the law allows you to do so.
As regards the expenses you incurred as a result of carrying out certain works to the property, they are yours. Unless common view or the law sees that such things become part and parcel of the property either for free or with compensation paid to you.
Q1659: A business property was leased for twenty years. Is the leaseholder justified in transferring the right of receiving sarqoflī to another tenant, either during the period of lease or after it has expired observing all related laws and paying the sarqoflī taxes? If the first tenant transfers its sarqoflī to a new tenant in a formal way observing all regulations but the landlord is not happy with it, has he the right to demand from the second tenant to vacate the property?
A: If sarqoflī of the place was not transferred to him by the landlord or by virtue of law, he has no right to sell or transfer it to any body else. If he does so, it is a fuḍūlī transaction and depends on the permission of the landlord.
Q1660: In his lifetime, the testator gave me his share in a hotel and its furnishings including superstructure and rights by way of muṣālaḥah. Does this muṣālaḥah include the right to its sarqoflī?
A: If he had such a right and the muṣālaḥah included all that he owned as far as the hotel is concerned, including superstructure and rights, the right of sarqoflī is included in the muṣālaḥah as well.
Q1661: A person rented some property, on the condition that he would vacate it whenever the landlord asked him to do so. After the expiry of the tenancy, the landlord demanded that he vacate the property. The tenant demanded to be paid sarqoflī in return. Should the landlord give in to his demand?
A: As it is stipulated in the contract that the leaseholder should vacate the place on the demand of the landlord and it seems that the right of sarqoflī was not transferred from the landlord to the tenant; the latter has no right to demand it unless the law stipulates it.
Q1662: I rented a place to someone and sold its sarqoflī for a certain amount. He paid me by check which I could not cash due to non-availability of funds in his account. However, he is using the property. Although I have not received the money, he claims ownership of sarqoflī. Does it belong to him or is the transaction deemed invalid because I did not receive the money?
A: Non-availability of funds in the buyer’s account which prevented you from cashing the amount should not render the transaction invalid after the sale was concluded properly. The right of sarqoflī should be the buyer’s. The seller can demand from the buyer to clear the outstanding check.
Q1663: In case the tenant has the right to demand the payment of sarqoflī for vacating the property by both the law and in the common view, but the landlord refuses him such payment, what is the ruling in the matter of the tenant staying in the property without the agreement of the landlord until he receives sarqoflī? On the assumption that the tenant is not justified in remaining in the property and his action does, therefore, amount to usurpation, would the income of the business he generates on the premises be deemed ḥalāl?
A: Unless it is stipulated in the contract that tenant vacates the property only if sarqoflī is paid, the mere right to sarqoflī does not allow the tenant to use property after the expiry date. Anyhow any thing gained as a result of business there is ruled ḥalāl.
Q1664: A person leased property for a given rent plus sarqoflī. [Over a period of time], the landlord gradually increased the amount of rent so much so that it is now double the initial amount. Now that the tenant has agreed with a third party to vacate the property and hand it over to them for a higher sarqoflī, the landlord is demanding to be paid 15% of the sarqoflī. Furthermore, he wants to increase the rent ten-fold, despite the fact that similar properties in the vicinity are leased for much less. According to shar‘, is the landlord justified in demanding a percentage of sarqoflī and a highly inflated rent?
A: After it has been known that the tenant has the right to sarqoflī of a premium and the right to transfer this right to whomever he wished, the landlord has no right to demand from him a share of it. As for the rent, it is a matter for the landlord and the tenant to agree at the time of renewing the lease.
Q1665: A person leased property and paid, on top of the monthly rent, an amount as sarqoflī. The landlord and the tenant agreed that the former pays the latter the actual rate of sarqoflī on the day of vacating the property. Failure on the part of the landlord to comply would entitle the tenant to sell the sarqoflī to a third party. Is this agreement shar‘ī and, therefore, binding?
A: There is no harm in stipulating these conditions in the lease agreement. The landlord has to honor his undertaking. He has no right to object to selling of the sarqoflī, by the tenant, to a third party if he declined to buy back the right of sarqoflī from the tenant.
Q1666: We bought some property consisting of a residential accommodation and a shop. The shop was leased to a person alongside the right of sarqoflī. However, sarqoflī of the shop changed hands among a number of tenants. Do we have to pay the present tenant sarqoflī if we ask him to vacate the shop after the expiry of the lease? If not, is it obligatory on the previous landlord, or the previous tenant who got it, to pay?
A: After the present tenant has become entitled to sarqoflī in a shar‘ī manner, it falls on the shoulders of whoever is going to buy it from him to pay sarqoflī to him.
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