The following rules apply when a person rents an animal and it becomes sick, goes mad, or is conscripted for the king's service, even when it will not be returned. If it was taken or became sick or mad as the renter was journeying to his destination, the owner may tell the renter: "Behold the animal you hired is before you," and the renter is required to pay the full fee. When does the above apply? When he rented it to carry a burden that can be thrown to the ground without worry. If, however, he rented the donkey with the intent of riding on it or carrying glass utensils or the like, the owner of the donkey is required to provide another donkey for him if he hired a donkey without making any further specifications. If he does not provide another donkey, he must return the fee, and then a calculation should be made with regard to how much he should be paid for the portion of the journey that he traveled.


הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַבְּהֵמָה וְחָלְתָה אוֹ נִשְׁתטֵּית אוֹ נִלְקְחָה לַעֲבוֹדַת הַמֶּלֶךְ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין סוֹפָהּ לַחְזֹר אִם נִלְקְחָה דֶּרֶךְ הֲלִיכָה הֲרֵי הַמַּשְׂכִּיר אוֹמֵר לַשּׂוֹכֵר הֲרֵי שֶׁלְּךָ לְפָנֶיךָ וְחַיָּב לִתֵּן לוֹ שְׂכָרוֹ מָשְׁלָם. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁשְּׂכָרָהּ לָשֵׂאת עָלֶיהָ מַשּׂוֹי שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר לְהַשְׁלִיכוֹ בְּלֹא הַקְפָּדָה אֲבָל אִם שְׂכָרָהּ לִרְכֹּב עָלֶיהָ אוֹ לָשֵׂאת עָלֶיהָ כְּלֵי זְכוּכִית וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן חַיָּב לְהַעֲמִיד לוֹ חֲמוֹר אַחֵר אִם שָׂכַר מִמֶּנּוּ חֲמוֹר וְאִם לֹא הֶעֱמִיד יַחְזִיר הַשָּׂכָר וְיַחְשֹׁב עִמּוֹ עַל שָׂכָר כַּמָּה שֶׁהָלַךְ בָּהּ:


The following rules apply in the above situation if the animal died or was injured, regardless of whether it was rented to carry a burden or to ride. If the owner said: "I am renting you a donkey," without specifying the beast, he is required to provide another donkey for the renter. If he does not, the renter may sell the animal and purchase another animal with [the proceeds], or rent another animal until he arrives at the destination agreed upon if the proceeds are not sufficient to purchase another animal.

Different rules apply if the owner told the renter: "I am renting you this donkey." When he rented it to ride upon it or to carry glass utensils and it died in the middle of the way, he should purchase another animal with the proceeds from the sale of the carcass if that is possible. If the proceeds are not sufficient for that, he should rent an animal, even if this demands all the proceeds of the sale to transport him to the destination specified. If the proceeds are not sufficient - neither to purchase nor to rent an animal - the renter must pay the owner the fee for the portion of the journey. With regard to the remainder, all he has against him is complaints.

If he hired it to carry a burden that was not fragile, since the owner said "this donkey," and it died in the middle of the journey, he is not required to provide another donkey for him. Instead, the renter must pay him the fee for the portion of the journey and leave him the carcass.


מֵתָה הַבְּהֵמָה אוֹ נִשְׁבְּרָה בֵּין שֶׁשְּׂכָרָהּ לָשֵׂאת בֵּין שֶׁשְּׂכָרָהּ לִרְכֹּב אִם אָמַר לוֹ חֲמוֹר סְתָם אֲנִי מַשְׂכִּיר לְךָ חַיָּב לְהַעֲמִיד לוֹ חֲמוֹר אַחֵר מִכָּל מָקוֹם. וְאִם לֹא הֶעֱמִיד יֵשׁ לַשּׂוֹכֵר לִמְכֹּר הַבְּהֵמָה וְלִקַּח בָּהּ בְּהֵמָה אַחֶרֶת אוֹ שׂוֹכֵר בְּהֵמָה בְּדָמֶיהָ אִם אֵין בְּדָמֶיהָ לִקַּח עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ לְמָקוֹם שֶׁפָּסַק בּוֹ. אָמַר לוֹ חֲמוֹר זֶה אֲנִי שׂוֹכֵר לְךָ אִם שְׂכָרָהּ לִרְכֹּב עָלֶיהָ אוֹ לִכְלֵי זְכוּכִית וּמֵתָה בַּחֲצִי הַדֶּרֶךְ אִם יֵשׁ בְּדָמֶיהָ לִקַּח בְּהֵמָה אַחֶרֶת יִקַּח וְאִם אֵין בְּדָמֶיהָ לִקַּח שׂוֹכֵר אֲפִלּוּ בִּדְמֵי כֻּלָּהּ עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ לַמָּקוֹם שֶׁפָּסַק עִמּוֹ. וְאִם אֵין בְּדָמֶיהָ לֹא לִקַּח וְלֹא לִשְׂכֹּר נוֹתֵן לוֹ שְׂכָרוֹ שֶׁל חֲצִי הַדֶּרֶךְ וְאֵין לוֹ עָלָיו אֶלָּא תַּרְעֹמֶת. שְׂכָרָהּ לְמַשָּׂא הוֹאִיל וְאָמַר לוֹ חֲמוֹר זֶה וּמֵת בַּחֲצִי הַדֶּרֶךְ אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְהַעֲמִיד לוֹ אַחֵר אֶלָּא נוֹתֵן לוֹ שְׂכָרוֹ שֶׁל חֲצִי הַדֶּרֶךְ וּמַנִּיחַ לוֹ נִבְלָתוֹ:


The following rules apply when a person hires a ship and it sinks in the midst of the journey. If the owner told the renter, "I am renting you this ship," and the renter hired it to carry wine without specifying which wine he would be carrying, even if the renter already paid the owner his fee, the owner must return it in its entirety. For the renter can tell him: "Bring the actual ship that I rented from you, for I was very specific in wanting this ship. When you do, I will bring wine and transport it on it."

If the owner does not specify a ship and the renter hires one to transport a specific shipment of wine, even though he did not pay the owner any portion of the fee, he is required to pay him the entire amount. For the owner can tell him: "Bring me the wine that you specified and I will transport it for you." He must, however, deduct compensation for the difficulty for half the journey, for a person who works to sail a ship cannot be compared to someone who is idle.

The following rules apply if the owner told the renter: "I am renting you this ship," and the renter mentioned a specific shipment of wine. If the renter already paid the owner his fee, he cannot require him to return it. If the renter did not pay it, he need not. The rationale is that the owner cannot bring that ship, nor can the renter bring that wine. If the rental agreement did not specify the ship or the wine, the fee should be divided between them.


הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַסְּפִינָה וטָבְעָה לוֹ בַּחֲצִי הַדֶּרֶךְ. אִם אָמַר לוֹ סְפִינָה זוֹ אֲנִי מַשְׂכִּיר לְךָ וּשְׂכָרָהּ הַשּׂוֹכֵר לְהוֹלִיךְ בָּהּ יַיִן סְתָם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנָּתַן לוֹ הַשָּׂכָר יַחְזִיר כָּל הַשָּׂכָר שֶהֲרֵי זֶה אוֹמֵר לוֹ הָבֵא לִי הַסְּפִינָה עַצְמָהּ שֶשָּׂכַרְתִּי שֶׁהַקְפָּדָה גְּדוֹלָה יֵשׁ בִּסְפִינָה זוֹ וַאֲנִי אָבִיא יַיִן מִכָּל מָקוֹם וְאוֹלִיךְ בָּהּ. אָמַר לוֹ סְפִינָה סְתָם אֲנִי מַשְׂכִּיר לְךָ וּשְׂכָרָהּ הַשּׂוֹכֵר לְהוֹלִיךְ בָּהּ יַיִן זֶה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נָתַן לוֹ מִן הַשָּׂכָר כְּלוּם חַיָּב לִתֵּן כָּל הַשָּׂכָר. שֶׁהֲרֵי אוֹמֵר לוֹ הָבֵא לִי הַיַּיִן עַצְמוֹ וַאֲנִי אָבִיא לְךָ סְפִינָה מִכָּל מָקוֹם וְאוֹלִיכוֹ. אֲבָל צָרִיךְ לְנַכּוֹת כְּדֵי הַטֹּרַח שֶׁל חֲצִי הַדֶּרֶךְ שֶׁאֵינוֹ דּוֹמֶה הַמְטַפֵּל בְּהוֹלָכַת הַסְּפִינָה לְיוֹשֵׁב וּבָטֵל. אָמַר לוֹ סְפִינָה זוֹ אֲנִי מַשְׂכִּיר וְשָׂכַר הַשּׂוֹכֵר לְהוֹלִיךְ בָּהּ יַיִן זֶה אִם נָתַן הַשָּׂכָר אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהַחְזִירוֹ וְאִם לֹא נָתַן לֹא יִתֵּן שֶׁאֵין זֶה יָכוֹל לְהָבִיא הַסְּפִינָה עַצְמָהּ וְלֹא זֶה יָכוֹל לְהָבִיא יַיִן עַצְמוֹ. שָׂכַר סְפִינָה סְתָם לְיַיִן סְתָם הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ חוֹלְקִין הַשָּׂכָר:


When a person rents a ship and unloads in the midst of the journey, he must pay the fee for the entire journey. If, however, the renter finds another person who will rent the ship in his place until the location he originally agreed, he may rent it out to him. The owner of the ship has, however, a complaint against him.

Similarly, if the renter sold all the merchandise on the ship to another person in the middle of the way and descended, and the purchaser ascended in his place, the owner of the ship takes half the rent from the first one and half from the second. The owner has a complaint against the renter, because he required him to accommodate the opinion of another person with whom he is not familiar. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.


הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַסְּפִינָה וּפָרְקָה בַּחֲצִי הַדֶּרֶךְ נוֹתֵן לוֹ שְׂכַר כָּל הַדֶּרֶךְ וְאִם מָצָא הַשּׂוֹכֵר מִי שֶׁיַּשְׂכִּיר אוֹתָהּ לוֹ עַד הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁפָּסַק שׂוֹכֵר וְיֵשׁ לְבַעַל הַסְּפִינָה עָלָיו תַּרְעֹמֶת. וְכֵן אִם מָכַר כָּל הַסְּחוֹרָה שֶׁבַּסְּפִינָה לְאִישׁ אַחֵר בַּחֲצִי הַדֶּרֶךְ וְיָרַד וְעָלָה הַלּוֹקֵחַ נוֹטֵל שְׂכַר חֲצִי הַדֶּרֶךְ מִן הָרִאשׁוֹן וּשְׂכַר הַחֵצִי מִזֶּה הָאַחֲרוֹן וְיֵשׁ לְבַעַל הַסְּפִינָה עָלָיו תַּרְעֹמֶת שֶׁגָּרַם לוֹ לִסְבּל דַּעַת אִישׁ אַחֵר שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא הֻרְגַּל בּוֹ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:


From this, I conclude that when a person rents a house from a colleague for a specific period and the renter desires to sublet the house to another person until the end of the lease, he may, provided there are the same number of people in the subletter's household as in his own. If, however, there are four in his own household, he should not sublet it to a household of five. The rationale is that our Sages' statement that a renter may not sublet the object that he rents applies only with regard to movable property.

The motivating principle for that restriction is that the owner may tell the renter: "I do not desire that my object be entrusted to the hands of another person." With regard to landed property or a ship, by contrast, its owner is with it at all times, and this objection is not relevant.

Similarly, I conclude that if the owner of the home tells the renter: "Why should you trouble yourself to rent my house to others? If you do not desire to continue dwelling within it, leave and leave it alone; I am freeing you from the rent," the renter may not sublet it to anyone else. For in such an instance, the charge: "Do not withhold good from its owner" applies. For instead of renting it out to someone else, the tenant should leave this person his own home.

There are those who rule that the renter may not sublet the dwelling at all and must pay the rent until the appointed time. To me, this does not appear a true ruling.


מִכָּאן אֲנִי אוֹמֵר שֶׁהַמַּשְׂכִּיר בַּיִת לַחֲבֵרוֹ עַד זְמַן קָצוּב וְרָצָה הַשּׂוֹכֵר לְהַשְׂכִּיר הַבַּיִת לְאַחֵר עַד סוֹף זְמַנּוֹ מַשְׂכִּיר לַאֲחֵרִים אִם יֵשׁ בְּנֵי בַּיִת כְּמִנְיַן בְּנֵי בֵּיתוֹ. אֲבָל אִם הָיוּ אַרְבָּעָה לֹא יִשְׂכֹּר לַחֲמִשָּׁה. שֶׁלֹּא אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים אֵין הַשּׂוֹכֵר רַשַּׁאי לְהַשְׂכִּיר אֶלָּא מִטַּלְטְלִין שֶׁהֲרֵי אוֹמֵר לוֹ אֵין רְצוֹנִי שֶׁיְּהֵא פִּקְדוֹנִי בְּיַד אַחֵר אֲבָל בְּקַרְקַע אוֹ בִּסְפִינָה שֶׁהֲרֵי בַּעְלָהּ עִמָּהּ אֵין אוֹמֵר כֵּן. וְכֵן אֲנִי אוֹמֵר אִם אָמַר לוֹ בַּעַל הַבַּיִת לַשּׂוֹכֵר לָמָּה תִּטְרַח וְתַשְׂכִּיר בֵּיתִי לַאֲחֵרִים אִם לֹא תִּרְצֶה לַעֲמֹד בּוֹ צֵא הַנִּיחוֹ וְאַתָּה פָּטוּר מִשְּׂכִירָתוֹ אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהַשְׂכִּירוֹ לְאַחֵר שֶׁזֶּה בְּאַל תִּמְנַע טוֹב מִבְּעָלָיו עַד שֶׁאַתָּה מַשְׂכִּירוֹ לְאַחֵר תַּנִּיחַ לָזֶה בֵּיתוֹ. וְיֵשׁ מִי שֶׁהוֹרָה שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהַשְׂכִּירוֹ לְאַחֵר כְּלָל וְיִתֵּן שְׂכָרוֹ עַד סוֹף זְמַנּוֹ וְלֹא יֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁדִּין זֶה אֱמֶת:

Mishneh Torah (Moznaim)

Featuring a modern English translation and a commentary that presents a digest of the centuries of Torah scholarship which have been devoted to the study of the Mishneh Torah by Maimonides.


When a person tells a colleague: "I am renting you this house," and after he rented it to him, it fell, he is not required to rebuild it for him. Instead, he should calculate the amount of rent due for the time during which he used it and return the remainder of the rent. If, however, the owner tears down the house, he is obligated to provide another home for the renter or rent a similar dwelling for him.

Similarly, if after renting the house to this person, he rented it or sold it to a gentile or to a person who does not abide by the law who supplanted the rental of the first person, the owner is obligated to rent a similar house for him. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.


בַּיִת זֶה אֲנִי מַשְׂכִּיר לְךָ וְאַחַר שֶׁהִשְׂכִּירוֹ נָפַל אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לִבְנוֹתוֹ אֶלָּא מְחַשֵּׁב עַל מַה שֶּׁנִּשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בּוֹ וּמַחֲזִיר לוֹ שְׁאָר הַשְּׂכִירוּת. אֲבָל אִם סְתָרוֹ חַיָּב לְהַעֲמִיד לוֹ בַּיִת אַחֵר אוֹ יַשְׂכִּיר לוֹ כְּמוֹתוֹ. וְכֵן אִם חָזַר אַחַר שֶׁהִשְׂכִּירוֹ לָזֶה וְהִשְׂכִּירוֹ אוֹ מְכָרוֹ לְעַכּוּ''ם אוֹ אַנָּס שֶׁהִפְקִיעַ שְׂכִירוּת הָרִאשׁוֹן הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב לְהַשְׂכִּיר לוֹ בַּיִת אַחֵר כְּמוֹתוֹ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:


If a person rented a house to a colleague without specifying the house, and afterwards the house fell, the owner is required to build it for him or provide him with another house. Even if the new house he gives him is smaller than the house that fell, the renter cannot prevent him from giving him this one, provided it is called a house. If, however, he told him: "I am renting you a house like this," the owner is obligated to provide him with a house that is the same length and width as the house that he originally showed him. He cannot tell him: "My intent was only that the house should be close to the river," "... to the marketplace," or "... to the bathhouse, as this one is." Instead, he is obligated to provide him with a house of that size and shape.

Therefore, if it was large, he should not make it small. If it was small, he should not make it large. If it was a one-room apartment, he should not make it two. If it was a two-room apartment he should not make it one. He should not reduce the number of windows that it possessed, nor should he add to them unless they both agree.


הִשְׂכִּיר לוֹ בַּיִת סְתָם וְאַחַר שֶׁנָּתַן לוֹ בַּיִת נָפַל חַיָּב לִבְנוֹתוֹ אוֹ יִתֵּן לוֹ בַּיִת אַחֵר. וְאִם הָיָה קָטָן מִן הַבַּיִת שֶׁנָּפַל אֵין הַשּׂוֹכֵר יָכוֹל לְעַכֵּב עָלָיו. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה קָרוּי בַּיִת שֶׁלֹּא הִשְׂכִּיר אֶלָּא בַּיִת סְתָם. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר לוֹ בַּיִת כָּזֶה אֲנִי מַשְׂכִּיר לְךָ חַיָּב לְהַעֲמִיד לוֹ בַּיִת כְּמִדַּת אָרְכּוֹ וּמִדַּת רָחְבּוֹ שֶׁל בַּיִת זֶה שֶׁהֶרְאָהוּ. וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לוֹמַר לוֹ לֹא הָיָה עִנְיַן דְּבָרַי אֶלָּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה קָרוֹב לַנָּהָר אוֹ לַשּׁוּק אוֹ לַמֶּרְחָץ כָּזֶה אֶלָּא חַיָּב לְהַעֲמִיד לוֹ בַּיִת כְּמִדָּתוֹ וּכְצוּרָתוֹ לְפִיכָךְ אִם הָיָה קָטָן לֹא יַעֲשֶׂנּוּ גָּדוֹל גָּדוֹל לֹא יַעֲשֶׂנּוּ קָטָן אֶחָד לֹא יַעֲשֶׂנּוּ שְׁנַיִם שְׁנַיִם לֹא יַעֲשֶׂנּוּ אֶחָד. וְלֹא יִפְחֹת מִן הַחַלּוֹנוֹת שֶׁהָיוּ בּוֹ וְלֹא יוֹסִיף עֲלֵיהֶן אֶלָּא מִדַּעַת שְׁנֵיהֶם:


When a person rents out a loft without any specifications, he is required to provide any such structure for the renter. If the owner tells him: "I am renting you the loft on top of this house," he made the house subservient to the loft. Therefore, if four handbreadths or more of the loft become ruined, the owner is obligated to fix it. If he does not fix it, the renter may descend and dwell in the house together with the owner until he fixes it.

The following rules apply when there are two lofts, one on top of the other: if the upper loft becomes ruined, he may dwell in the lower one. If the lower one becomes ruined, there is a doubt whether he has the right to dwell in the upper loft or the house. Therefore, he should not dwell in either of them. If, however, he dwells in one of them, he cannot be forced to leave.

An incident occurred when a person told a colleague: "I am renting you this vine that is draped over this peach tree," and then the peach tree became uprooted from its place. The question was brought to the Sages and they told the owner: "You are obligated to provide the peach tree for him for as long as the vine exists." Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.


הַמַּשְׂכִּיר עֲלִיָּה סְתָם חַיָּב לְהַעֲמִיד לוֹ עֲלִיָּה. אָמַר לוֹ עֲלִיָּה זוֹ שֶׁעַל גַּבֵּי בַּיִת זֶה אֲנִי מַשְׂכִּיר לְךָ הֲרֵי שִׁעְבֵּד בַּיִת לַעֲלִיָּה לְפִיכָךְ אִם נִפְחֲתָה הָעֲלִיָּה בְּאַרְבָּעָה טְפָחִים אוֹ יֶתֶר חַיָּב הַמַּשְׂכִּיר לְתַקֵּן וְאִם לֹא תִּקֵּן הֲרֵי הַשּׂוֹכֵר יוֹרֵד וְדָר בַּבַּיִת עִם בַּעַל הַבַּיִת עַד שֶׁיְּתַקֵּן. הָיוּ שְׁתֵּי עֲלִיּוֹת זוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי זוֹ וְנִפְחֲתָה הָעֶלְיוֹנָה דָּר בַּתַּחְתּוֹנָה. נִפְחֲתָה הַתַּחְתּוֹנָה הֲרֵי זֶה סָפֵק אִם יָדוּר בָּעֶלְיוֹנָה אוֹ בַּבַּיִת לְפִיכָךְ לֹא יָדוּר וְאִם דָּר אֵין מוֹצִיאִין אוֹתוֹ מִשָּׁם. מַעֲשֶׂה בְּאֶחָד שֶׁאָמַר לַחֲבֵרוֹ דַּלִּית זוֹ שֶׁעַל גַּבֵּי הַפַּרְסֵק הַזֶּה אֲנִי מַשְׂכִּיר לְךָ וְנֶעֱקַר אִילָן הַפַּרְסֵק מִמְּקוֹמוֹ וּבָא מַעֲשֶׂה לִפְנֵי חֲכָמִים וְאָמְרוּ לוֹ חַיָּב אַתָּה לְהַעֲמִיד הַפַּרְסֵק כָּל זְמַן שֶׁהַדַּלִּית קַיֶּמֶת. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה: