Real estate experts: Rent hike on short notice

Vol XXXVI: My rent is up in one week and my landlord has just notified me that the rent will be increased by 40%. Is he allowed to give me such short notice?

tel aviv real estate 88  (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
tel aviv real estate 88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
For Housing resources click here. Our Experts For Jerusalem and the surrounding areas including Modi'in, Bet Shemesh and Ma'aleh Adumim: A native New Yorker, Shelly Levine is owner and manager of Tivuch Shelly Ltd., a leading real estate company that services all of Jerusalem and its surrounding areas and specializes in English-speaking clients. For Ra'anana and the surrounding areas, including Kfar Saba and Hod Hasharon: Re/max Ra'anana - with over 15 years experience in the greater Ra'anana region and extensive knowledge of the surrounding areas - provides top real estate advice and services, and specializes in clients from English and French speaking countries. * * * Click here to send us your questions and please leave your comments on the Q&A below. * * * Volumes I-XV Volumes XVI-XIX Volumes XX-XXIV Volumes XXV-XXVII Volumes XXVII-XXX Volumes XXXI-XXXII Volumes XXXIII-XXXIV * * * Vol XXXVI Q: My rent is up in one week and my landlord has just notified me that the rent will be increased by 40%. Is he allowed to give me such short notice and raise the rent such a significant percent? Any idea? Thanks. A: The rental market has gone sky-high in the past several months. Prices are now typically listed in Shekalim for the first time, due to the drop in the dollar. There is more demand than supply. There are no laws governing the amount someone can raise his rental fees, no rent control here. It may not be fair or reasonable, but that's the reality. Sorry I can't offer more comfort. Shelly Q: I have Jewish last name. I want to buy property in Israel. If I buy property in Israel does that allow me to make aliya or permanent residency based on that alone? If not what rights do I receive by owning property in Israel? A: A Jewish name alone isn't enough. You must go to Nefesh B'nefesh Aliyah department and be approved to make aliyah as a Jewish person under the law of return. After that, you will be given notice of any specific rights you may have. Q: Interested in buying small apartment $ 1000 cash, near tel aviv. What extra costs are there? Where would you suggest? Holon, Askelon, Ashdot, Rishion. Is it difficult for an immigrant to buy property? A: It's simple to buy property in Israel. I do it every day... The places you mentioned differ in nature. If you would like beach front, Ashkelon, Ashdod and Rishon would be better. With 100k down payment you can pretty much choose. (I'm assuming you meant 100,000, not 1000 - you cannot buy with 1000 because banks will not approve you). In Israel there is no credit crunch because loans are made only to those who can afford it and you must have 15% down payment. If you have a $100 000 down payment, you'll have no problem in any of these areas. Ashkelon is cheaper than Ashdod. Rishon is dearer than all of the above. Come to Israel, take a look at the different cities, and take your pick. Q: I lived in israel since 1978 and my two children were born there. I bought an apartment in jerusalem in 2000 and renovated, but we moved to Los Angeles in 2002 because my father was ill. Now we are staying here in Los Angeles. I'm wondering what is best to do with the apartment considering the real estate market today? rent it? sell it? Thank you. A: An apt. in Jerusalem is a world class investment in today's economic situation. Rentals are solid, there is always a great demand. It all depends on your personal situation. If you need the money, sell. If you can hold on to it, it will be a great investment for the future. Q: I'm looking for a 2nd hand, 2.5 bedroom apt in Netanya in reasonable condition for about 180,000 Euros. Possible? Is the Israeli 2nd hand housing market in Netanya declining due to the world crisis? A: There's no doubt about the fact that in Netanya, some of the market is based on foreign investors visiting a few times a year. Therefore, Netanya, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv will be affected. If I were you, I would wait until the winter. By that time, the market should come down a little. Apartments are always less expensive in the winter anyway. The builders will start feeling the lack of foreign investors in a few months. * * * Vol XXXV Q: Has the price of home or apartment rentals risen significantly over the last year? What do you see in the next year? The home I rented a year ago in Har Homa is now renting for much more. Thank you. A: Due to the change in the dollar, the rentals have shot up, if you're converting dollars to shekels. But even in shekelim alone, due to supply and demand, prices are edging up because of weak supply. Most rental contracts are now being done in shekelim, not dollars, by the way. Q: Hi. My sister is going to study in ashkelon this year. We have an amount about 400000 sh. The question is whether we should buy an apartment in ashkelon or in ashdod. we also want to sell it or to rent after she graduates. What would you recommend? A: I firmly believe that investing in Israeli real estate is a sensible, profitable venture. The continued momentum of our economy bodes well for the future. I would select Ashdod, probably, rather than Ashkelon. Ashdod has many market segments in it: veteran Israelis, French Jews, even haredim, and it's on the waterfront. I think you can't go wrong with a well selected 3-bedroom purchase there. I haven't seen much foreign investment in Ashkelon and the market there is softer. Why waste three years of high rental payments rather than buying now and paying off the mortgage for the same amount. You will have nice equity in almost no time. Q: Is now a good time to invest in Israeli real estate? What do you think about purchasing a new development property versus a 2nd hand home? A: Yes! See previous answer. I advocate new homes.It gives you maximum ability to make YOUR changes, turning the home into what you want. When a builder is selling a 100 units, it's certainly at a more reasonable rate than when an individual family has to sell its largest asset and are typically in a less negotiable frame of mind. New buildings also tend to appreciate quicker if selected wisely. Q: Is it possible to find a relatively new apartment in Modiin for $150k? If so, how many bedrooms and washrooms would it include? If not, what are the starting prices? A: Modi'in is an unusual place. There are tremendous differences in price between different sections and neighborhoods. There is no one answer. Undoubtedly, Kaiser and Givat C are much less expensive than the desirable Buchman area. These ARE the only three sections with notable concentrations of English-speakers if that is of interest to you. Speaking broadly, $150,000 might get you 2 bedrooms + living room + 2 bathrooms in a somewhat older section of the city. A 3-bedroom unit in the newer neighborhoods today will start at close to $220,000. Good luck. This is a great city to live and invest in. Q: I would appreciate the names of experienced real estate agents in Beer-Sheva who speak English. My wife and I are new olim who are interested in purchasing a residence in B.S. A: I would suggest calling the City Hall and ask where new homes are being built in the area that you are most interested in. Contact the builders directly and you will likely get the best deal, certainly the best information. That person in the City Hall will also likely be able to recommend a credible English-speaking realtor. Good luck. Q: I made Aliya in 1996 from Russia, obtained citizenship of Israel, but last 8 years I have resided outside Israel. Right now I am planning to return to Israel. As far as I understand I'll be considered "Returning Resident". My question is: Can I receive tax rebate for purchasing my first apartment in Israel? How much tax I should pay on apartment 1.000.000 NIS ? Can I receive a special mortgage rate or mortgage subsidies from government? How much time after returning to Israel should I be entitled for tax rebate and special mortgage rate? A: If I understand correctly, and you left before buying a home in Israel, then you still have a few more years of housing rights intact. You can use your oleh rights to buy a home and also for the lower purchase tax on property. The one-time tax on a million-NIS apartment would be 1-2% of the purchase price if my earlier point was correct. Work with Nefesh b'Nefesh to determine EXACTLY how much time on the clock you will have left and your lawyer can nail it down even more precisely. Welcome back. * * * Cafe Oleh experts have been chosen for their knowledge and reputation. Cafe Oleh does not take responsibility for any advice they offer. Click here to send us your questions for Shelly, please include your name, city and country.
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