2

If a Jewish landlord is renting to a Jewish tenant, does he have an obligation to put up mezuzot himself, or is it still the tenants obligation?

For practical applications, CYLOR

3

According to this, the tenant is the one responsible for the mezuzah.

Tzarich Iyun: The Mitzvah of Mezuzah

The obligation to affix a mezuzah devolves upon the resident of the dwelling. In Talmudic language, this obligation is called “chovat hadar”—the dweller’s obligation.[2] In general, therefore, the tenant, not the landlord, is responsible for putting up the mezuzot, although with regard to a “furnished” apartment, there is a halachic debate over who is financially responsible.[3]

  1. Sources relating to mezuzah include Bava Metzia 101b; Avodah Zarah 21a; Rambam, Hilchot Mezuzah 5:11; SA, YD 291:2. Sources related to monetary obligations regarding mezuzah include Rambam, Hilchot Maskirut 6:3; SA, CM 314:2.

  2. For a detailed discussion of the rules regarding renting a furnished apartment or a “tzimmer,” see Rav Pinchas Moshe Landman, Tzohar 12, ed. Rav Elyakim Dvorkes (5764): 258-270. See also Shu”t Shevet Halevi 6:YD:161 and Shu”t Tzur Yaakov, 194.

2

See Gemara BM 101B-102A:

מתני' המשכיר בית לחבירו המשכיר חייב בדלת בנגר ובמנעול ובכל דבר שמעשה אומן.‏

If one rents a house to his neighbour, the landlord must provide the door, door-bolt, lock, and everything which requires a skilled worker.

אבל דבר שאינו מעשה אומן השוכר עושהו ..:‏

But what does not require a skilled worker must be done by the tenant.

גמ' ...בעו מיניה מרב ששת מזוזה על מי?‏

Rav shesheth was asked: who must provide the mezuzah? מזוזה? האמר רב משרשיא מזוזה חובת הדר היא!‏

is then the mezuzah a problem? did not R' mesharsheya say: the obligation of the mezuzah lies upon the inhabitant {Rashi explains that we learn this from an analogy between the word your house (Beitrcha) and your entry (Biatecha)}!

....‏

ת''ר המשכיר בית לחבירו על השוכר לעשות לו מזוזה וכשהוא יוצא לא יטלנה בידו ויוצא ומנכרי נוטלה בידו ויוצא ומעשה באחד שנטלה בידו ויצא וקבר אשתו ושני בניו מעשה לסתור אמר רב ששת ארישא: ‏

Our rabbis taught: if one rents a house to his neighbor, the tenant must provide a mezuzah. but when he quits it, he must not take it with him {because this can cause calamities}, ...

This Halacha is in Rambam and SA without any change. An important detail in Rema YD 291,2. If they agreed that the house contains mezuzot, and when the tenant came in, he do not find any mezuza. Despite that contracts are not fully honored, nothing is disclaimed (YD 291). So he buys mezuzot. When he is asking for repayement, the home owner can refute while knowing that the mezuzot will remain for their place because the tenant is duty to leave them.

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