Can a landlord charge a tenant one price and reflect an inflated price of rent for the benefit of the tenant? 

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by TheMufti.com

Q. I am a landlord. Some new tenants have approached me to facilitate them as their previous landlord is relocating them. Their previous landlord is willing to pay R16.000 for six Months rent for them for their relocation but my rent is R8.000 per Month. So, the tenants asked me to show it as R16.000 per Month rent and they will show it to their previous landlord to pay for it. On the other hand, the tenants made a deal with me that I should give them the extra amount of R8.000 per Month based on the Monthly rent of R8.000. In other words, I will charge them R8.000 per Month rent but I will show it as R16.000 per Month rent? In this way, the lessee will benefit R8.000. Is this deal correct?

A. The above deal of the lessor and lessee is incorrect. This is because the lessor has agreed to charge the lessee R8.000 rent per Month but the lessor is reflecting it as R16.000 rent per Month in order to benefit the lessee with an extra amount of R8.000. This type of deception is against the principles of transactions in Islam and against the morale of a Muslim.

Alternatively, you may consider charging the lessee R16.000 rent per Month as well as reflecting it as R16.000 rent per Month with a discount of six Months’ rent thereafter. In this way, you will be charging and reflecting your rental charge correctly and the lessee will benefit with the discounted rent of six Months rent.

Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ismaeel Bassa

This answer was collected from TheMufti.com, which is a fatwa portal managed by Mufti Ismaeel Bassa from South Africa.