A decision has been issued by the company we work for that they will cover the following expenses: the price of renting a house to a maximum of 1500 pounds sterling per month, and 200 pounds sterling per month to cover utility bills (water, electricity and gas). The company will pay the amount of rent that is recorded in the contract only, provided that it does not exceed 1500 pounds. My question is, if there is a house the rent of which is 900 pounds per month, then I made a deal with the landlord (a secret deal) that he will pay the utility bills without writing it in the rental contract, then we raise the value of the rent recorded in the contract to 1200 pounds per month, so that what the company will see in the contract is that the rent is 1200 pounds per month, and at the end of the month the company will pay me 1200 pounds for the rent, and 200 pounds for utility bills… To sum up, this deal means that I will get the money allocated for bills, which is 200 pounds, whilst the landlord will pay the bills. If we show this in the contract, we are afraid that the company will stop paying for utilities. What is the ruling on this transaction? What does the one who did that before have to do now?.
If the matter is as you describe, then you have to tell the company the truth and not use tricks to take from the company that which it has not given permission for. If the rent of the house is 900 pounds, it is not permissible to write it as 1200, whether that includes the utility bills or not, because the company has differentiated between the two things and has allocated a specific limit for each.
It is no secret that honesty is one of the greatest of characteristics and it is the means of all goodness, as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “I enjoin you to be truthful, for truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise. A man may continue to tell the truth and endeavour to be truthful until he is recorded with Allaah as a speaker of truth. And beware of lying, for lying leads to wickedness and wickedness leads to Hell. A man may continue to tell lies and endeavour to tell lies, until he is recorded with Allaah as a liar.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5743)and Muslim (2607).
Recording the amounts as something other than what they really are involves lying and deceit, and using tricks in order to consume wealth unlawfully. All of that is haraam. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly” [an-Nisa’ 4:29]. And the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever deceives us is not one of us.” Narrated by Muslim (101).
So you have to be honest and tell the truth about the situation; that is the way that leads to salvation, goodness and blessing.
If anyone has done that previously, he has to return the money that he took when he was not entitled to it, to the company. If he fears that this will cause him trouble, then he may send the money to the company by any means, and he does not have to tell the administration of the company what he did.
And Allah knows best.