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Lost and Found Properties in a Hotel Business

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: salam,

Often customers vandalise my hotel rooms and sometimes steal things from the place. If a customer doesn’t come back for his lost property can I keep it regarding it as a compensation for what other people have stolen from my property ?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

No, you cannot keep the lost property for your own benefit.

If items are stolen from you, consider sending the respective guest an invoice for them.

The basis with the property of others is that you cannot benefit from it without permission.

Finding Lost Property

(1) If you find an item in a room, you should contact the previous occupants of the room to locate the owner. Thereafter you can determine whether or not they would like the item and then how to proceed.

(2) If you find an item elsewhere in the hotel, then you should make a general announcement by putting a notice in the area it was found, or anywhere else where the owner may see it.

What if I cannot find the Owner?

In the case that the owner cannot be located, you can either:

(a) sell the item and keep the money for the owner if they return,

(b) give the item in charity, or

(c) hold on to the item until the owner returns for it.

What if it was left behind on Purpose?

The exception to the above is in the case that the property was intentionally left behind or has no value. In determining this, you can use your reasonable judgement.

Please see: A Little Fiqh of Lost & Found Items

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani


This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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