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If both tenant and renter are Jewish do they must count according to the Jewish months or can the renter decide that he wants to count according to the secular months?

In this scenario the contract is vague, does not specify or there is no contract.


Why this matters:

If you go according to the Hebrew months you'll be paying an extra month rent in leap years.

Possible reasons for supporting the view of counting via secular dates:

  • Generally, financial transactions are conducted with the secular date. Checks, payments, etc.
  • הכל כמנהג המדינה
  • דינא דמלכותא דינא

Do you know any religious Jews living in israel? What do they do there?

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  • related judaism.stackexchange.com/a/93084/759
    – Double AA
    Jun 27, 2023 at 2:14
  • 1
    What does the contract say?
    – mbloch
    Jun 27, 2023 at 3:28
  • @mbloch the contract is vague, does not specify or there is no contract
    – larry909
    Jun 27, 2023 at 7:36
  • @DoubleAA what if the contract is vague, does not specify or there is no contract?
    – larry909
    Jun 27, 2023 at 7:40
  • The contracts in Israel use the secular months by default, but I have seen some that use the Jewish months. As you noted, using Jewish months increases the rent, if the same monthly amount is used. Jul 4, 2023 at 13:14

1 Answer 1

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Based on the fact that the question is in a case where there is no contract, I am assuming that this includes that there is no overriding minhag ha’ir that can determine what the default intention is.

Such a scenario is logically similar to a case in which the renter and the landlord didn’t discuss if the rent is yearly or monthly, and then the year was turned into a leap year (back when it wasn’t based on a pre calculated calendar). This case is the same thing, since in essence the only difference is whether or not the renter has to pay for the extra Hebrew month. (Although perhaps there is room to debate this logic, the reasoning behind the Halacha would seemingly apply in both cases regardless).

The Halacha in that case is that the house is in the chazaka of the landlord, and the renter needs to prove that he has a right to the extra month. The Rambam in Sechirus 7:2 says;

הֲרֵי חֹדֶשׁ הָעִבּוּר שֶׁל מַשְׂכִּיר שֶׁהַקַּרְקַע בְּחֶזְקַת בְּעָלִים וְאֵין מוֹצִיאִין דָּבָר מִיַּד בַּעַל הַקַּרְקַע אֶלָּא בִּרְאָיָה בְּרוּרָה. וְכֵן בַּעַל הַבַּיִת שֶׁאָמַר לִזְמַן זֶה הִשְׂכַּרְתִּי לְךָ וְהַשּׂוֹכֵר אוֹמֵר לֹא שָׂכַרְתִּי אֶלָּא סְתָם אוֹ לִזְמַן אָרֹךְ עַל הַשּׂוֹכֵר לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה וְאִם לֹא הֵבִיא בַּעַל הַבַּיִת נִשְׁבָּע הֶסֵּת וּמוֹצִיאוֹ מִן הַבַּיִת:

In this case it would seem that the same Halacha would apply, the landlord is assumed to be the muchzak on the extra month and the renter would be the one that has to prove otherwise. (Perhaps, if he always paid on the first of the secular month that can prove that the agreement was secular months, but if the landlord complained right away to use the Hebrew months then seemingly he’s in the right)

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