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Tenant Q&A

  • The “landlord” is the property owner, who grants another person the right to use his property.
  • The “tenant”  is a person who receives the property for possession for use, for a fee

  • In 2017 the Israeli Government made amendments to the Rental and Lending Law (1971), which deals with the arrangement of rental and loan agreements in Israel.  As part of the changes, a number of sections of the law were amended and added, with the key addition dealing with rental/lease contracts. These changes in the law are referred to as “Fair Rent Law”.  We, at Rentfair we call these changes, for short, “The New Law”.

  • We recommend using the “Fair Rental Agreement”, which you can download at the xxx link.  If your landlord is the one drafting the contract, request a copy in advance and review it carefully.  Compare it to the “Fair Rental Contract” and have someone familiar with these laws read and provide you with their comments.  Do not hesitate to insist on unreasonable clauses.

  • You will not be charged the landlord’s lawyer fees.  This is against the law! If you took your own lawyer, responsibility of payment is yours.

  • Make sure that for the duration of your rental period that the apartment is insured with property insurance (water, structural damage, fire, etc…), as well as Third Party Insurance (personal injury)
  • It is recommended that the contract include a clause that allows you to leave the resident prior to the conclusion of the rental period, provided that you find alternative tenants under the same terms of your agreement.  
  • Ensure that there is a clause that stipulates that all costs for repairs or expenses related to the apartment and/or building infrastructure, except for mutual payments, apply to the landlord.
  • If there are any items leased together with the apartment (i.e. air conditioner, refrigerator, cabinets, etc…) they should be listed in the rental agreement.

  • It is important to make sure that the landlord is indeed the owner of the property or is authorized on his behalf.  Ask the landlord for the official property/land documentation.
  • Confirm that the property details you are given match the details of the property at:   https://www.mapi.gov.il/Pages/LotAddressLocator.aspx
  • Order a property history form online from the Land Registry (at a cost of about 15 NIS) at:   https://www.gov.il/he/service/land_registration_extract.
  • Take a copy of the landlord’s T.Z. when signing the contract, and compare it to the signature on the appraisal form.
  • *Please Note:  If there are a number of property owners listed on the History Form, everyone must sign the agreement.  If it is being signed by a power of attorney, it must be signed by an attorney.

  • You do not have to pay the fees of the realtor that the landlord has hired.  This is against the law!   If you, yourself contacted a realtor to assist in finding you an apartment, then the payment applies to you.  The law does not set a maximum brokerage fees, but the customary fee is one month’s rent plus VAT.

  • Guarantors:  These are people (one or more) who will sign on your behalf, stating that they will guarantee your adherence to fulfil the obligations as renters of the property.   This is considered acceptable security at no cost. 
  • Promissory Note:  This is a written promise to pay the landlord a sum of money.  It is recommended to sign the promissory note, as long as the amount does not exceed several months of rental.  The landlord may file the promissory note and execute it in case of breach of the agreement on your part. Sometimes the guarantors are also required to sign the promissory note.  This is also considered acceptable security at no cost. 
  • Security cheque:  This is a regular check that is guaranteed to the landlord in the event of a breach of contract, with no date, signed by you.  The landlord can ask for an additional security cheque(s) for Electric Company etc… Most property owners require you to give open cheques (signed by you, without specifying amount or date).  Make sure that every cheque you leave this the landlord have the words “security cheque” written. Make sure that on the cheque also is written “for the beneficiary only” . Do not give a blank cheque, without naming a beneficiary.  
  • Bank Guarantee:  This is a guarantee that you may be asked to provide the landlord.  Premature termination of the guarantee will involve considerable costs.  For the most part, you will be asked to secure a security deposit at the bank.  By law, the landlord is allowed to request a guarantee of up to 3 months or a third of the total rent if agreement is for less than 9 months.

  • By law, the landlord may only exercise the guarantee if: 
  1. You did not pay the rent
  2. You did not make payments on time (Arnona, Electricity, water etc…)
  3. You have not repaired any damages that were your responsibility.
  4. You have not moved out of the apartment in a timely manner.

    Please Note:  the landlord must notify you in advance of his intention to exercise the guarantee and give you reasonable time to correct the violation for which he wishes to utilize the guarantee.

  • Writing a cheque must be done in pen and not in pencil.  
  1. Make sure that at the top of the cheque is printed “for the beneficiary only”  between 2 parallel lines. If not already there, add it manually. This means that the cheque can only be deposited into the beneficiary’s account.  It is not advisable to give up on this.   
  2. In the field ”Pay to” you must enter the name of the person you pay, the landlord listed in the agreement. 
  3. In the rectangle on the right where the sign for NIS, you must record the amount in numbers.  On the line below, the amount must be written in words and in the end add the word “only”.
  4. At the bottom of the cheque, enter the desired payment date.  
  5. You must sign the cheque at the bottom with your signature as registered at the bank. 
  6. In your cheque book, the portion remaining, fill in all the details of the cheque for monitoring and confirmation.

  • According to Israeli Law, if the apartment you rent is uninhabitable - it is your right to be released from the agreement.  This right is yours, even if the contract states that you have checked the apartment and it is suitable for you.

  • Apartment that meets all of the following conditions:
  • The property is connected to a proper sewage system, including a regular drainage of waste.
  • There are electrical and lighting points in the property. 
  • The property has ventilation and natural lighting that can be closed, including a locked front door. 
  • There are taps with drinking water in the apartment. 
  • There must be a separating wall between the bathroom and the living space
  • The property does not pose a risk to the tenants’ health and safety.

  • This is a very important stage in the renting process!!  Don’t take shortcuts here!
  • Work with the “checklists” that appear later on this page.  
  • Prepare a “Move-in” Report - Click on the “Moving” button on your dashboard. 

  • No. The law does not require the accounts (property taxes, water, electricity) to be named on the tenant.  The landlord is entitled to request this , and logically so, as the person whose name the account is registered in, is the one who is obligated and responsible for payments.

  • The law stipulates that small repairs, ones that do not require a professional or  the cost of repair is minimal, are your responsibility. In addition, if the defect or damage is caused by your negligence or improper use of the property, repairs will be at your own expense. 
  • In most cases, this is not the case, and the homeowner must take care of the repair. 
  • The law states that once you have notified the landlord, he must repair the damage within a reasonable time:  
  • Urgent Repairs (ones that make the property uninhabitable) - Up to 3 days!
  • Minor Repair - up to 30 days.

  • The law states that the landlord may not require you to pay for: 
  • Upgrades to systems and facilities, in a building or apartment (except for any upgrade made at the request of the tenant). 
  • Property insurance (covering structural damage)
  • Payments that the landlord owes to a third party - for example, a lawyer or a real estate agent that he has contacted.

  • Under the Fair Rental Law, the landlord  may request that you to pay the following:  
  • Rent payments
  • Property taxes (Arnona)
  • Payments for utilities used - water, electricity, gas, internet etc…
  • Payments for building maintenance (condo fees), if applicable. 

  • No. you must paint the property only if it is explicitly stated in the contract.

  • Assuming you have made all payments that apply to you, and there is no damage (at your fault), the landlord must return all security deposits and guarantees that you gave, up to 60 days after the rental period ends.  It is important to receive (physically, in your hand) all guarantees and security deposits you have given and not to settle for written authorization from the landlord!

  • For sure!!  If you don’t, you will have to continue to pay the bills, as you are still responsible for those accounts.  Notify each supplier (electricity, water, Arnona, gas, internet etc…) upon leaving the property. Be sure to submit a meter reading updated to the day you leave.  Be sure to get written confirmation of each cancellation.

Checklists

Select the checklist you need & check-off items as you complete the tasks. The system will automatically save your settings.

 

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