|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?
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