Zakat on real estate assets listed as “for sale or let”

Q: My question is how should real estate assets which are on the market as “for sale or let” be treated in realtion to zakah. Are they to be treated as trade stock or as rental stock?

الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب

A: This all depends upon the intention with which the real estate was initially purchased and whether that intention has now changed. If the intention at the time of purchase was resale only and still remains for resale, even if it is with the option of lease, then the full value is zakatable. If the intention is no longer for resale but rather now for lease only then it has now become rental stock and will be treated accordingly for zakat liability. If the intention was undecided at the time of purchase as to whether it is for resale or lease, or it was for lease only, then the real estate itself is not zakatable. This remains so even if the intention later changed to resale only. ففى الدر المختار: ( لا يبقى للتجارة ما ) أى عبد مثلا ( اشتراه لها فنوى ) بعد ذلك ( خدمته ثم ) ما نواه للخدمة ( لا يصير للتجارة ) وإن نواه لها ما لم يبعه بجنس ما فيه الزكاة .والفرق أن التجارة عمل فلا تتم بمجرد النية ، بخلاف الأول فإنه ترك العمل فيتم بها. ( وما اشتراه لها ) أى للتجارة ( كان لها ) لمقارنة النية لعقد التجارة. (كتاب الزكاة ، 2/272-273) وفى رد المحتار: قوله: ( كان لها إلخ ) لأن الشرط فى التجارة مقارنتها لعقدها وهو كسب المال بالمال بعقد شراء أو إجارة أو استقراض حيث لا مانع. (كتاب الزكاة ، 2/272-273)

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