Rafed English

Key Premium (Sarqufliyah)

Among common transactions between businessmen and traders what is called (Key Premium). It is where a lessee forgoes his right in the shop, place of trading or business for another in return for a mutually agreed amount of money [premium].

Also a transaction where the lessor forgoes his right in ejecting the lessee from the property or increase the rent [or lease] at the end of the period of rent for a mutually agreed sum of money.

(41) Renting property for carrying out business activity does not constitute a right for the lessee so as to obligate the lessor not to evict him from the property and renew the rent contract without increase at the end of the rent cycle.

The same applies to the length of stay in the property and appreciation of the location, i.e. they do not warrant a right of stay. Rather, if the period of the rent comes to a close, the lessee should vacate the place and hand it back to the landlord.

If the lessee makes use of governmental laws [designed to protect lessees], preventing the landlord from forcing the lessee to vacate the property or not increasing the rent, such an act is haraam. The lessee's having a free hand in the property without the consent of the owner is considered usurpation; any money the lessee takes in order to vacate the property [for use of another one] is haraam.

(42) A landlord rented out his premises to a person for one year for a rent of, say, a hundred Dinars. According to the terms of agreement, the landlord undertook to renew the rent for the lessee on each anniversary, or to another lessee by way of transfer, without increasing the rent at a premium of, say, five hundred Dinars. The second lessee decided to transfer the lease to a third person, subject to securing parity of treatment. In this case, the [first] lessee can take an amount of money equivalent to that paid to the landlord in cash, or less or more as may be the case, according to what they mutually agreed to.

(43) A landlord rented his property to a person for a specified period. Among the terms of contract, he undertook to renew the rent for subsequent years, at a premium or without it, in the form the contract s concluded the first time or according to what is generally accepted. It so happened that another person paid a certain amount of money to the original lessee in return for forgoing his right in renting the premises and, therefore, vacating it. This deal was struck subject to the condition that the new lessee will have no right of disposal over the property, apart from taking possession of it[to trade]. On the other hand, the landlord has the right of renting the property to whomsoever he wished, after he takes vacant possession of it [from the second lessee]. In such a case, the [first] lessor can take the agreed amount; the premium here is for vacating the property per se, and not for the transfer of the right of disposal from him to the one who paid the premium.

(44) The landlord should honour his undertaking in the rent agreement. Pursuant to article (42), he should rent the property to the lessee or that to whom he forwent his right without increasing the rent. Pursuant to article (43), he should, also, renew the rent for the lessee as long as he wants to stay in the property for the same amount of rent, or the amount generally accepted according to what the agreement stipulates.

If the landlord fails to honour the condition and declines to renew the rent, the obligee can force him, albeit by having recourse to the Marji' or any other [competent authority]. However, if forcing the landlord can bear no fruit, for whatever reason, the lessee can not have a free hand in the property without the landlord's consent.

(45) According to articles (42 and 43), the condition in the rent agreement could be made a condition of consequence rather than a condition of action. That is, making the renewal, as suggested, subject to the condition that the lessee, or his direct or indirect agent, has the right of occupying the property and making use of it for a specified yearly rent, or for the amount of rent generally accepted. In such a case, the lessee or any person appointed by him has the right of occupying the property and making use of it, even without the consent of the landlord. The latter has no right, other than claiming the amount mutually agreed between him and the lessee for the said right [of occupying the property].

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