Assignment of the Lease

The lessor can sell the leased property to a third party whereby the relation of lessor and lessee shall be established between the new owner and the lessee. However, the assigning of the lease itself (without assigning the ownership in the leased asset) for a monetary consideration is not permissible.

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The difference between the two situations is that in the latter case the ownership of the asset is not transferred to the assignee, but he becomes entitled to receive the rent of the asset only. This kind of assignment is allowed in Shariah only where no monetary consideration is charged from the assignee for this assignment. for example, a lessor can assign his right to claim rent from the lessee to his son, or to his friend in the form of a gift. Similarly, he can assign this right to any one of his creditors to set off his debt out of the rentals received by him. But if the lessor wants to sell this right for a fixed price, it is not permissible, because in this case the money (the amount of rentals) is sold for money which is a transaction subject to the principle of equality. Otherwise it will be tantamount to a riba transaction, hence prohibited.


Source: Republished with the kind permission of Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani.