I bought a house with the tenant staying there. He continued staying…
There was a steel structure in the back yard of this house. During his stay there, we extended the house due to which we had to dismantle and bring down the structure. After completion of the extension, I (landlord) did not re-erect the structure… The tenant asked me about it, and I said that I don’t see a need for it. He, however wanted it up. So, it was decided that he (the tenant) will put it up again at his cost, and when he leaves this premises, he may take it with him. Now came the time that he left my house. He is asking that I pay him for the structure.
Do I have to pay him for it? (Keep in mind that I didn’t want to put it up after the extension, because I felt there is no need, and also if it is put up, it would take up space in the yard).
)1(. Since there was an agreement between you (the landlord) and the tenant that he (the tenant) will put up the structure at his own cost and remove the structure when vacating the premises, he should remove the structure as agreed, and cannot hold you responsible to pay for the cost of the structure.
There is yet another option provided by the jurists in the books of Fiqh whereby you may offer to purchase the structure, at the price of a condemned structure; in other words, a structure that needs to be dismantled and removed from the ground. In simple terms, the option of purchasing the structure at the second-hand value of the material that was used to erect the structure. This can be determined by asking experts in the building industry.
For example, if the second-hand value of the material used to put up the structure is R5000.00 you have the option to purchase it at that price and then leave the structure on your premises (even though erecting a new structure would cost far more than that). However, if both parties (without having to consult experts) amicably reach an agreement on a particular price then too you may purchase the structure at the fixed price that has been agreed upon. This is only in the case where you are voluntarily prepared to purchase the structure; or else (as mentioned in the beginning), you cannot be coerced into purchasing the structure if you are not willing to do so.
Checked and Approved By:
Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.