Solely In Black and White: Question of the Day, Are These People Acting Correctly?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Question of the Day, Are These People Acting Correctly?

Apartment Via Flickr 

I recently came across a possible moral conundrum. I’m guessing it’s more widespread than I know of, but this is the first time I came across it, well technically it's secondhand, but that doesn't matter. As most of you are well aware, finding an apartment can be an arduous task nowadays. Or as the age-old adage goes: "put your money in land, because they aren’t making more of it." Additionally, once you begin to add other criteria such as location (or "location, location, location") and nearby amenities, conveniences, and other factors, the search becomes either harder or more expensive. Regardless, the current situation, at least in many communities, is lending itself towards being classified as a seller’s market. And with power comes the potential for corruption or misuse. 

Here is the situation: An acquaintance of ours was recently apartment hunting and stumbled upon a seemingly good apartment. By good, we're basically talking about an apartment that has new fixtures and appliances, is generously spacious, in a great location, has hardwood flooring, and it even has a dishwasher, washer, and dryer etc. Based on the above criteria the asking rental price is actually very reasonable. The person in question told me that he knows for a fact that there are a lot of people vying for this place, which I assume is a valid assumption. That being said, the current tenant knows that there is a growing demand for their place. Due to the fact that they are still under contract and ultimately have the rights to the apartment for the duration of said agreement, the current tenant is using their leverage to chose their successors, albeit with only one little concession : The new tenant must purchase all their furniture. Arguably the asking price might be slightly inflated compared to current market value. However, it might be safe to assume that they are trying to sell it for what they originally paid. Personally, I have no idea; I don’t know the actual numbers involved nor have I personally appraised the furniture.

I assume the legality of the situation is not in question since the above practice would appear to be legal, albeit questionable and seemingly capitalistic in nature, but I could be overlooking something. Regardless, the question I really am wondering about: is this practice Yashrus?

(if you'd prefer not to comment, please vote in the survey instead. Thanks) 


  1. I've heard of this practice, it's done a lot in Israel. In that case, most couples appreciate being able to just buy everything because they don't plan on staying there for longer than a few years anyway.

    However, in most cases, I don't think that's fair, to twist someone's arm for your own benefit.

  2. Meh, I don't see the problem with it. A furnished apartment is more expensive because it's furnished. So this apartment is extra expensive because it's overly furnished. I don't see a problem with that.

    But I don't get the situation. The current tenant is renting out the apartment before his contract is completed? He's leaving and having someone take over the contract sort of thing?

  3. %Shocked%, True, but instead of charging someone slightly more per month in rent, they’re forcing them to drop a significant amount of money at the onset. Besides, what happens to the people who already have furniture, but need to move to a bigger apartment? What exactly are they going to do with two sets of furniture? I don’t see a problem with it if it meets a need, then everyone would be happy, but I don’t think that’s the case.

    I think the situation is something like they are under contract and they would otherwise have to pay some form of penalty for breach of contract; so either they’d have to pay the remainder of their rental agreement or some other arbitrary fee for early termination. However, I assume if they transfer their contact to someone else they wouldn’t have to pay anything. Also, I would assume that the new tenant would save on the security deposit and maybe some other acquisition fees, but I am just guessing, I don’t really know what their existing agreement is and what costs are included for all the potential people involved.

  4. Ok, so that's a pain in the neck lol. I'm not going to deny that point. As far as someone who already has furniture, it's a completely different market. People advertising apartments make it quite clear whether or not their apartment is furnished or not. The apartment we're discussing is furnished so anybody who has furniture, wouldn't even consider this one as an option.

    Hm, again, I really don't think there's a moral dilemma here. When I sell a car, or anything for that matter, it's my business how I want to market it, sell it, etc. I can also take advantage of anything that will help me sell it. If it's such a hot commodity, people will go for it. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. But I have to think about it some more lol


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