Finance Committee passes 'Heftsiba law'

The law is aimed at protecting future buyers of new apartments and securing their payments.

Heftsiba 88 224 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Heftsiba 88 224
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Knesset Finance Committee on Tuesday passed the second and third readings of the so-called "Heftsiba law," which is aimed at protecting future buyers of new apartments and securing their payments. "This is not the first time [referring to the Heftsiba construction company's collapse] that home buyers were left without a roof and without a property," Finance Committee chairman Stas Meseznikov said. "I hope that the bill will close the loopholes that exist in the law and provide better protection for future home buyers." The legislation was initiated by Meseznikov (Israel Beiteinu) and MK Reuven Rivlin (Likud). It seeks to secure the monies of home buyers and levy more responsibility on home sellers and banks accompanying the construction of a project. The Heftsiba crisis left home buyers stranded without apartments or the money they paid for their homes. The Heftsiba law will be implemented within six months following Knesset approval. The bill stipulates that buyers of new homes will make payments through a system of coupons or vouchers issued by the banks financing the contractor's housing project. Each new home will have its own accompanying coupon, which, when purchased by the home buyer, will ensure that the funds go directly to the account of the bank funding the home's construction. The bill stipulates that the construction and housing minister appoint a supervisor, chosen from his ministry, who will be responsible for the implementation and inspection of the Heftsiba law, the handling of public enquiries and clarifications between buyers and sellers. The supervisor will submit an annual report to the Knesset Finance Committee. The bill allows for the levy of financial sanctions up to NIS 1 million for breaking the law. With regard to the banks' involvement in financing a project, criminal responsibility will not be placed on the bank clerk for not abiding by the new regulations, but on the bank itself.