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Requiring furniture packages to get introduction to apartment owner


In Jerusalem, there is a practice where someone whose lease is up and wants to leave the apartment, would only introduce you to the landlord if you agree to purchase their furniture. The furniture is sold at an exorbitant price, usually more than 1/6th of its value. But because people can get desperate to find a place to live, they have no choice but to oblige. The people who get hurt the most are the ones who are newly married, with scant funds, doing everything they can to make it work in their learning.

Is this mutar lechatchilla?


If the price for the furniture is more than 1/6th over the price for the used furniture, (which is not easy to determine), it is not a correct thing for the first tenant to do. However on the other hand we can’t say that it is assur, because it can be argued that he is taking a sort of brokers fee, because he is making the connection between the new tenant and the landlord, and this is what he is charging.  Again, I am not saying that this is a correct practice, but only from a strict halachic angle.

Best wishes


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