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Unfair Advantage: Dealing with Rental Disputes Among Building Partners

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Muftionline.co.za

Q: Can you please help me with a ruling on the following case. There are four equal partners in a building. One partner is also renting a premises in this  building. Over the years all the other tenants rentals have been increased by a market related percentage with the exception of the tenant who is also a shareholder/partner in the building resulting in his rental being less than half of what the other tenants are paying.A situation now arose where another partner also wishes to rent a shop in the building however he feels that he is only prepared to pay the same rental as the other tenant/partner.The other two partners feel that they are being short changed as they are all equal partners but the tenant/partner is enjoying an unfair advantage. It has been proposed to the tenant/partner that a scale be put into place over a duration of 3 to 4 years and by then his rental will come on par with the other tenants. He however is not prepared to accept this.

1. Is it permissible for this partner to enjoy this advantage over the other partners and other tenants?

2. What advice does Mufti Saheb give to remedy this situation and restore harmony between the partners.


A: It is haraam; it is usurping the rights of the other partners. He must pay to them what they mutually agree upon.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.

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