Signing a contract with a real estate company to book a plot of land
Q: I have some question related to contract related to property/plot/house purchasing and selling. Kindly guide me from the perspective of Hanafi Madhab on the matter.
Detail and questions are described below.
In our country we have a Real Estate Company, its business model is that they acquire huge area of land in an area where they build city infrastructure/facilities on them and then sell plots and sell houses built by them in that area to customers.
The buyer signs a contract with this real estate company to book a plot of land or to book a house which the real estate agent builds for the buyer.
Based on the contract the buyer pays an initial non refundable booking fee to the real estate company and starts paying in instalment an amount to the real estate company laid down in the contract on intervals for example instalment amount every 3 months for 3 years.
During the contract there is no indication of the allotted location of the place where the House or plot of land will be to the buyer. The real estate company announces the general area after the contract has been signed and allocates the plot numbers which is then distributed randomly to the buyers. (The buyer gets the area of plot of land or house based on the contract.)
The real estate company allows the buyer who signed a contract with them, for the area of plot or house, to transfer the contract to another person. This second buyer then pays the remaining installments to the real estate company in case there are remaining installments to be paid to the real estate company.
1. Can a person sign into a contract with the real estate company for a plot of land or a house to be built by the company based on the details above?
2. In case it is haram or Makrooh to sign into such a contract and a person has already signed it can the person sell this contract to another person
with or without a profit ? And what should the person do to atone for the mistake?
3. Can a person sell the unknown plot/house to another person by transferring the contract for the unknown plot/house without a profit or with profit based on the market value?
4. If a person had the intention of not selling the unknown plot/house to another person and then due to an unforeseen financial reasons wants to sell the unknown plot/house to another person can he do that without a profit or with profit based on market value?
5. After signing a contract with a real estate company for a house I have heard from people that the real estate company has forcefully grabbed some land from individuals. And I have also read about government claims on some of their land. Based on the above information kindly advise if i shall also be responsible for this land grab in front of Allah ? And how to atone for this mistake. I am willing to loose the amount paid till now to the real estate company if this is the ruling for this case.
6. The House is not in my possession yet and I am still paying the installments based on the contract. With this knowledge is it advisable to sell this contract for the house to someone else without a profit or with profit based on market value ?
In case there are no issues with the real estate company I some queries below.
7. Once the plot/house has been allocated to the buyer in the contract with the real estate company, can the buyer transfer the contract to another person without a profit or with profit based on market value in the case where the possession of the plot/house has not yet been given by the real estate company to the original buyer ?
8. In the case if the original buyer has paid all the installments in the contract to the real estate company for the plot/house and possession of the plot/house has not been given to this original buyer, during this period can the original buyer sell the contract to another person without profit or with profit based on the market value?
9. In case the original buyer is in financial difficulty and didn’t intend to sell the plot/house contract to another person and has paid all the installments to the real estate company. The possession has not been given to this original buyer by the real estate company yet. Can the original buyer sell the contract to another person without profit or for a plot of landwith profit based on market value?
1. It is not permissible.
2. The clearer way will be that you renew the sale with the seller even though it may be the same price. There is no need for the money to change hands. Thereafter you may sell it to whoever you may please.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)