Can a property be subleased without the permission of the landlord?

Q. I am currently financially unstable and I am finding it difficult to fulfil my lease agreement after the riots occurred in Durban. Can I sub-lease my property at a higher value to finance my lease agreement and earn extra income in the meantime whilst I try regaining financial stability?

A. If the landlord has not permitted subleasing the property, it will not be permissible to sublease the property.

A property can only be subleased if a landlord has expressly permitted the tenant to sublease his property in the lease agreement. In that case, the tenant will be permitted to sublease the property at an equal or lesser rental value that was due to the landlord.

The subleasing of the property at a higher value will only be permitted provided that any one of the following two conditions are met:

1. The tenant has added value to the property by developing and improving the property. For example, the tenant tiles, paints or furnishes the property.

2. The tenant subleases the property in a different currency than the currency of rent due by the tenant to the landlord. For example, the landlord charges the tenant rent in the rand value and the tenant subleases the property in the dollar or pound value. (Hindiyyah 4/425)

Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ismaeel Bassa