Ask the Rabbi

  • Family and Society
  • Damage and Theft

rental terms and verbal agreement


Rabbi Menachem Copperman

1) What are the rules of evicting someone from an apartment because of not paying? What about if it;s because you just want to get rid of him even though he is paying on time? How much time must you give him? Does Minhag Hamedina rule or is there a Torah rule? 2) I made a verbal agreement with someone that he may leave his articles on my property for a certain amount of time and if they are not out by that time limit then I own them. however, I did not make a Kinyan. Is my Chazair Koneh automatically at that time or is it like someone places his property in my possession without permission that I can’t damage it.
1) If the apartment was rented for a specific amount of time, the renter cannot be evicted before the end of the rental term, regardless if he paid or not (a), but he can be sued for the rent. In this case, the rent ends at the end of the rental term. No further notice is needed. and there is no obligation to extend the lease (b). However, if the rental term was not specified, a minimum of 30 days notice has to be given before eviction (c). 2) The answer to this question is in controversy between the Rabbis, regarding two main points: A. If property ("Chatzer") can create ownership ("Koneh") when the objects were originally placed in it for safekeeping and only afterwards were decided to be passed over to the owner of the property they were placed in (d). B. If a verbal conditional agreement regarding the future is valid when the object is already in the possession of the receiver (e). Therefore, although it's not clear cut, you have basis to claim ownership over the objects that were placed in your property (קים לי). Sources: (a) Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 312; 1 (b) ibid. 312; 8 (c) ibid. 312; 5 (d) See Ketzot HaChoshen 189;1 versus Netivot HaMishpat, 200 (introduction) (e) See Shulchan Aruch and Rm"a, Choshen Mishpat 207;11
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