Lending a rented or borrowed item to another:

Lending a rented or borrowed item to another:[1]

*Important note: In all cases that the owner explicitly stated his desire vis a vis the item being used by another person, one must obey those desires, whatever they may be. The following Halacha refers to a case that no preconditions or stipulations were made with the renter/borrower in this regard.

 

A. Moveable objects and animals:[2]

One who borrows or rents an animal or moveable object is prohibited from lending it or renting it to another person, without explicit permission from the owner.[3] This applies even if the renter/borrower is the lowest of the low of a person while the new intended renter/borrower is the greatest of the great, nevertheless he may not lend or rent him the object without the owner’s permission.[4]

In one’s home or under one’s supervision:[5] The renter/borrower may allow another person to use the item while it is in his home.[6]

Under one’s supervision:[7] The renter/borrower may allow another person to use the item while he is supervising him [even if he is not in his home].[8]

Sefarim:[9] The above law applies even to [rented or borrowed] Sefarim that it is forbidden to lend or rent it to another person, without explicit permission from the owner.[10] This applies even if the renter/borrower is the lowest of the low of a person while the new intended renter/borrower is the greatest of the great, nevertheless he may not lend or rent him the Sefer. The borrower [or renter] however may allow another person to read the Sefer while it is in his home.[11] It is forbidden however for them to read the Sefer together in his home, and it may only be read one person at a time.[12]

Renting/lending to a person who one knows the owner trusts:[13] If the renter/borrower knows that the owner is always accustomed to trust a given person [in lending or renting him] objects, then if the owner trusts the person with objects of equal or greater value then the current rented/borrowed object, then he may lend/rent him that object. [If however the owner is not known to always trust the person with an object of similar value then it is forbidden to rent/lend the person the object even if the owner is accustomed to trust him with objects of lesser value.] Even in the case that the second borrower/renter is known to be trusted by the owner with objects of equal value, one may not give him the object if having the object by him will diminish the level of insurance that the first borrower/renter has on the object.[14] For example, if the object was borrowed then one only lend it to a second person who is trusted by the owner, but may not rent the item to him.[15] If the object is rented then he may lend it or rent it to a second person who is trusted by the owner, although he may not entrust it to him for safekeeping without pay.[16]

If the owner or borrower/renter will be together with the new renter:[17] If one rented [or borrowed] an animal or item and also hired its owner to do the work, the renter [or borrower] is permitted to rent it [and the hired owner] to another person without permission of the owner, although the owner has a justifiable complaint against him. For example, if one rented a donkey or ship to bring merchandise to a certain area [and hired the owner to drive the ship and ride the donkey] and he managed to sell the merchandise in mid-journey, the renter [or borrower] can rent it in that area to another person who desires to bring that amount of merchandise [or less] to that area. This however is only allowed if the owner will be traveling with them. Nonetheless, if he does rent it to another person the owner has a justifiable complaint against him.[18] If however the owner of the object will not be traveling with them then the renter [or borrower] may not rent it to another without the owner’s permission unless he himself is traveling with them to that area, in which case it is permitted.[19] Alternatively, if [an adult[20]] family member [that is part of the household of the renter/borrower and is supported by him[21]], or the original borrower/renter, will be traveling with them it is also valid.[22] In such a case that the person or family member will be with the new renters, the owner does not even have a justifiable complaint against the original renter [or borrower]. When permitted to rent the item out to another person, one may do so even though he will be bringing other merchandise with him, so long as it is of equal weight [and volume] to the original merchandise. 

 

 

Summary:

It is forbidden to rent or lend a borrowed or rented item to another unless one of the following conditions are fulfilled:

  1. The item is in one’s house.
  2. One is supervising the other person using the item and is hence not entrusting him with it at all.[23]
  3. One knows the owner generally trusts the second person with items of this value, and the second person will hold the same level of responsibility as the first.

In addition to fulfilling one of the above conditions one must also fulfill the following condition:

  • Having a second person use the item does not use it up any more than having only one person use it.[24]

 

Q&A

May one lend/rent the object to relatives and family members?[25]

One may lend or rent a rented/borrowed object to any adult member of one’s household that is supported by him, such as one’s wife and adult children.[26] It however may not be lent/rented to other relatives that are not part of one’s household and are not supported by him, such as one’s brother or parents who live in a different home. It may also not be lent or rented to one’s children, sons or daughters, even though they are part of one’s household.

 

Q&A on Practical cases:

May one who borrowed or rented a car give it to another person to drive?

Contract: If one signed a contract that includes limitations as to whom one may allow to drive the car, then it is forbidden to give the car to someone who is not allowed to drive it in accordance to the contract.

No contract: If one borrowed or rented a car without a contract or condition, such as from a neighbor and the like, one may only lend/rent it to another if one knows the owner generally trusts the second person to drive his car, and the second person will hold the same level of responsibility as the first. [One however may not lend/rent it to a person who the owner is not known to trust to drive the car, even if the renter/borrower will sit in the passenger’s seat and supervise, as perhaps the owner does not trust the person to drive properly.[27]]

 

May one who borrowed a pen give it to another person?

It may only be lent to another person if one of the above listed conditions are fulfilled, such as the pen is in one’s house, or one supervises the other person while he uses the pen, or the owner generally trusts the person with his pen.[28]

 

May one who borrowed a broom give it to another person?

It may only be lent to another person if one of the above listed conditions are fulfilled, such as one is supervising the other person who is using the broom, or the owner generally trusts the person with his broom.

 

             

B. House/Land:[29]

One who rented a home may rent it to another so long as the second renter does not bring to live in the home more people than the first renter. Likewise, one who borrowed a home may lend it and even rent it to another, for the remaining duration of time under his borrowed/renting terms.[30] 




[1] Admur Hilchos Sheila Usechirus 1-4

[2] Admur ibid Halacha 1; Michaber C.M. 307/4 regarding renting; 342/1 regarding borrowing; Bava Metzia 29b

[3] The reason: As perhaps the owner does not want his object in the hands of a person who is not as trustworthy in their eyes as the original renter/borrower. It is thus forbidden to transgress the desire of the owners. [Admur ibid]

[4] Admur ibid; Michaber 391/26 regarding Pikadon; Maharik 6/4

[5] Admur ibid Halacha 4; Rashba 1/1145

[6] The reason: One does not need to suspect that perhaps the owner does not desire that the item be in the other person’s possession, as in truth the item is still within his house and possession. Also, there is no need to suspect at all that the owner does not desire to do a favor and lend the item to another person, and only desires to do the favor to the original borrower, as since we see that he did a favor with his object and lent his item to that person, one can assume that he is not particular against doing this favor that he did also with another person, that another person use it throughout the time that the first borrower received it for. [Admur ibid]

[7] Admur ibid Halacha 3 regarding a ship or camel that if he travels with him it is permitted; Admur ibid 4 regarding a Sefer that if it is in one’s house he may let someone else use it as it is still within his possession; So is also implied from the reason above for why one may not give the item to another, as perhaps the owner does not trust the other person, while here the original borrower/renter is supervising him.

[8] The reason: See reason in previous footnote.

[9] Admur ibid Halacha 1; Michaber 342/1; Bava Metzia ibid

[10] The reason: Although it is a Mitzvah to lend Sefarim to another, nevertheless we do not say that one can assume that the owners are pleased that a Mitzvah be done with their objects, as perhaps they do not want their object in the hands of a person who is not as trustworthy in their eyes as the original renter/borrower. It is thus forbidden to transgress the desire of the owners. [Admur ibid; Bava Metzia ibid]

[11] Admur ibid Halacha 4; Rashba 1/1145

The reason: One does not need to suspect that perhaps the owner does not desire that the item be in the other person’s possession, as in truth the item is still within his house and possession. Also, there is no need to suspect at all that the owner does not desire to do a favor and lend the item to another person, and only desires to do the favor to the original borrower, as since we see that he did a favor with his object and lent his item to that person, one can assume that he is not particular against doing this favor that he did also with another person, that another person use it throughout the time that the first borrower received it for. [Admur ibid]

[12] Admur ibid Halacha 4; Bab Basra 29b

The reason: As the owner only lent the Sefer to one person and not two people, and one may not do a favor with another person’s object without his permission, if the favor is any amount greater than the original favor that was granted by the owner. [Admur ibid]

[13] Admur ibid Halacha 1 and Hilchos Metiza Upikadon 30; Michaber 391/26 regarding Pikadon; Shach 342/2 as explained in Chochmas Shlomo ibid; Smeh 291/47; Maryu 31; Baba Metzia 36a

[14] Admur ibid Halacha 1; Michaber 291/26 regarding  a Pikadon

[15] The reason: As a borrower is liable for even unpreventable damage that is an act of G-d and outside of human control [Oness] while a renter is exempt from such damages. [Admur ibid]

[16] The reason: As a Shomer Chinam is exempt from responsibility if the object is stolen or lost, if he was not negligent in guarding it, while a renter is responsible for such damages. [Admur ibid]

[17] Admur ibid Halacha 3; Michaber 311/6; Baba Basra 79b

[18] The reason: As the renter has now caused the owner to need to deal with a different person of whom they are not yet comfortable with. [Admur ibid]

[19] Admur ibid; Shach 311/3

[20] Admur Metzai and Pikadon 30

[21] Admur Metzai and Pikadon 30

[22] The reason: As explained in the laws of Metzai and Pikadon 30 that anyone who is Mafkid an item on to another, does so with intent that also the wife and children of the person be entrusted to care for the item, and be believed to guard it just like him. Thus, it ends up that when the Pikadon is left in the property of the household member, it is considered as if it is being left in the borrowers/renters possession which was originally entrusted with the object. [Admur ibid]

[23] So is learned from Admur ibid regarding the case of the Ship

[24] So is learned from the limitation applies that two people may not read the borrowed Sefer in the same home.

[25] Admur ibid Halacha 3 and Hilchos Metzia Upikadaon Halacha 30 regarding a Pikadon and the same would apply regarding a rented or borrowed object

[26] The reason: As explained in the laws of Metzai and Pikadon 30 that anyone who is Mafkid an item on to another, does so with intent that also the wife and adult children, or other household members of the person, be entrusted to care for the item, and be believed to guard it just like him. Thus, it ends up that when the Pikadon is left in the property of the household member, it is considered as if it is being left in the borrowers/renters possession which was originally entrusted with the object. [Admur ibid]

[27] It is thus not similar to the allowance of the Sefarim case, as all people can be assumed to know how to use Sefarim equally.

[28] Although the ink gets used up faster when two people use it, nevertheless, also Sefarim get used faster when two people use it, and in fact most items have wear and tear and the more they are used the faster their life span will come to an end and nevertheless we see that one may lend another the item when the above conditions are fulfilled. It was only in the book case that Admur prohibited allowing two people using it at the same time, simultaneously, being that when two people use it simultaneously there is a greater chance of damage.   

[29] Admur ibid Halacha 2; Michaber 316/1 regarding rented item; Rama 342/1 regarding borrowed item; Rashba 1053 and 1145 regarding borrowed item; Rambam Sechirus 5/5 regarding rented item

[30] The reason: As land remains constantly in the status and possession of its owner and it is not possible to flee with it elsewhere, and hence the issue of whether the owners trust the second person is not relevant at all. [Admur ibid; Taz 316/1; Perisha 316/1] 

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