If we had a shekel for every time we heard people say, “We don’t have to pay the agent fee”, we could open another buisness 😉
The truth is, that once the rental law changed, it created a large misconception as to who is really obligated to pay the agent fees when renting an apartment in Israel. The truth is that this amendment to the law was created in order to regulate the relationship between the landlord and tenant, and not between the tenant and the agent. In short, it doesn’t exempt tenants who turn to realtors from paying an agent fee, it only protects them from a landlord trying to obligate them to pay his agent fee as well.
Years ago, the landlords used to have all the control with regards to fees as when they would write up their lease contracts, they added clauses that said the tenant would pay all the fees for services that were required by the landlord. Fees such as lawyers’ fees and agent fees of which the landlord used their services were put into the contract that the tenant would need to pay for them. In short, tenants were required by some landlords to pay fees for services they have obtained.
This law is to protect the tenants who will be renting the apartment from being stuck with the above-mentioned fees. However, to clarify, when a client contacts and uses the services of an agent to look for an apartment for rent in Jerusalem or anywhere else in Israel, they are, in fact, obligated to pay for those services.
In addition to regulating the fees the landlords list in the lease, the law also regulates the maximum amount allowed to collect for a security deposit (which is 3 months’ worth of rent, and no more)
These laws are all relatively new, and some people, may not even know they exist. It is one of the reasons why it would be best to consider using legal representation when renting an apartment and reviewing your lease as new laws are always being made, and lawyers and even realtors will know about them and can advise on them.
Another reason to consider using legal representation when reviewing a lease is if the landlord already has one. This way you have an advocate for your needs, and it won’t get overlooked.
Additionally, if the lease is written in a foreign language, legal representation that can explain the lease to you and answer your questions, could be beneficial as well.
Though your realtor, especially we at Alon Central, may be very knowledgeable and well-versed in the laws and lease agreements, advice and knowledge can never replace that of a lawyer.
Here at Alon Central, we work closely with Oded Levenson and Moshe Raz at Levenson & Raz Law Offices, and highly recommend their expertise and services.
After having read all of the above, before you begin reviewing lease agreements, you need to find your apartment for rent in Jerusalem or anywhere else in Israel, which is what we at Alon Central are here for and are happy to be a part of that journey.