Apartments at Ahad Ha’am Street in Rehavia..
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The fair rental bill, inspired by the mass housing protest in 2011 and proposed by one of its leaders, MK Stav Shaffir (Zionist Union), unanimously passed a first reading in the Knesset Monday night.
“I hope this bill will save the two million renters who live in a total jungle,” Shaffir, 31, said. “These are people of my generation, for whom the idea of buying an apartment looks like a fantasy. A whole generation of Israelis lives under impossible contracts.”
Some of the exploitative practices Shaffir listed are bank guarantees of tens of thousands of shekels, paying for structural repairs and annual raises in rent.
“The purpose of this bill is to bring basic rules into a totally chaotic market,” she added.
The bill sets regulations for the relations between renters and owners. For example, the owner may not have any commitments to a third party in relation to the rented property before renting it out, cannot rent out the property in unlivable condition and must allow the renter to see and examine the property before entering into a contract.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai praised the progress on the bill, calling it an important step. However, he said it is unfortunate that the bill does not include the definition of a livable apartment and regulation of rent hikes.