When A Renter Won't Pay or Vacate Your Apartment
April 04, 2019
Once you purchase your apartment in Israel, you will have to decide whether you will be living in it or renting it out. When renting out your apartment, most of the time everything will go smoothly and according to the lease. However, there are times when there can be problems, and it is always best to know your rights as a landlord and the law itself.
What to do when a renter will not pay rent or vacate your property? This is a tough question. Though this does not happen quite that often, it does happen. In such an unfortunate situation, you as a landlord and property owner, must follow the laws and procedures implemented to protect yourself.
Below are the steps required to evict an uncooperative tenant:
- The first, and most important step is to be prepared in advance. This means, using a lawyer who specializes in rental and contract law, to review and approve the contract prior to signing. In addition to this, it is highly recommended to have two payment guarantors sign the lease as well as the renter.
- Once the contract has ended, or the renter has breached the contract, and he will not vacate the property, you must send a letter. This should be a formal written letter sent to the tenant letting him know that the lease has ended and was meant to vacate property as of (end date written on lease. It is important to site the reason that he is being evicted out for in this letter, disrupting neighbors, lease is finished, etc. (Of course, you can have your lawyer approve this letter as well prior to sending it)
- If after the letter has been sent and the tenant still does not vacate the apartment (especially with situations where the tenants have stayed for many years in the apartment) It is important to find out if there is a specific reason as to why the they refuse to leave. Perhaps they are upset that all the owner's maintenance responsibilities were not followed through as were meant to, or maybe they are having financial issues, which if this is the case, maybe it would be beneficial to create a new agreement between you and the tenant.
- Write a letter either from you or from your lawyer to the tenant stating that the tenant has until x date to vacate the apartment otherwise you will take the next step and go to the court and take official legal action.
- File a claim of eviction and attach the warning letter you sent. The court tends to be more lenient with a landlord who follows the entire legal process of eviction with no illegal actions.
- 15 days after the court rule you may contact the eviction hotline, and the tenant can be evacuated within 20 days (total of 35 days).
**********Do not take the law into your hands:
- DO NOT Cut off water and electricity to the apartment in hopes that the tenant will vacate.
- DO NOT remove the tenant's belongings from the apartment.
- DO NOT change the locks in the apartment.
By doing any of the above you are breaking the law, and in fact, this may lead to you being sued by the tenant
When you purchase an apartment in Israel, and you unfortunately find yourself in a situation like this or anything problematic situation with your renter, it highly suggested and recommended to consult with a lawyer who specializes in contract and real estate law. Moshe Raz at Levinson and Raz Law firm, is an exceptional lawyer who can assist you in any such cases.