Bernard H. Taff, 59, a retired area business executive who was active in charitable and civic organizations, died of cancer Saturday at George Washington University Hospital.

Mr. Taff founded the Certified T.V. Rental Company in Washington in the early 1950s, and was its president until selling the company in the early 1960s. He then served as president of the Certified Leasing Company, a Capitol Heights furniture leasing firm, until retiring in 1979.

He was a directing adviser of Peoples Security Bank of Washington at the time of his death.

He was a past president, trustee, and chairman of the charity fund committee of the Progress Club of Rockville. He was named the club's Man of the Year in 1976.

Mr. Taff was a member of the board of the Junior Citizens Corps, a United Way group working with inner city youth, and was the recipient of the Corps' Senior Achievement Award in 1979.

He also was a guardian and member of the board of the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington in Rockville. He was a member of the Shaare Tefila Conservative Congregation in Silver Spring.

He was a 32nd degree Mason and a member of the Samuel Gompers Masonic Lodge and the Shriners Temple.

Mr. Taff was a native of the Bronx and came to this area in 1943. He was a resident of Bethesda. He served with the Army Air Corps in Europe during World War II and was awarded the Airman's Medal.

Survivors include his wife, Eunice of Bethesda; a son, Dr. Mark, and a daughter, Carole Eisenberg, both of Potomac; two brothers, Jack of Beverly Hills, Calif., and Louis of Washington; a sister, Betty Hilzenrath of Hollywood, Fla., and five grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Progress Club in Rockville or the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, also in Rockville.