Elephant in a china shop: The epidemic of construction defects is also flooding the luxury apartments
Amateurism of the workers, stinginess of the contractors, lack of regulation and more.
Our country has more construction defects than anywhere else in the world, and there is no one to stop the phenomenon.
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Thursday, 19 May 2022, 08:46
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"Show me one more country in the world, where you buy an apartment for NIS 7 million, and find out after a few months that it has liquidity from the windows. It's just eye work. Do not say an apartment for NIS 1 million in Arad, but an apartment in a prestigious project in Tel Aviv, where I paid 70,000 "It seems to me that at such a price the contractor is expected to give me a perfect apartment."
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Yes, this also happens in buildings where an apartment costs NIS 7 million (Photo: Yachz)
The case of Aharon, an immigrant from France, who recently purchased a luxury apartment in Tel Aviv and discovered that it has construction defects, is not a private case - light years away.
For example, another well-publicized case has been going on for nearly four years in the Bavli neighborhood of Tel Aviv.
At the center of the "Bavli Park" Facebook page is "The Liquid Tower," a nightmarish luxury building in which buyers point out leaks, flooding and groundwater infiltration that disable the elevators.
The State of Israel, with all its technological capabilities, lags behind many countries in the world in terms of the quality of construction, some of which are defined as third world.
In order to understand the scope of the phenomenon, its causes and consequences, we spoke with a number of leading experts in the field and came out with some very disturbing insights and data.
How serious is the situation in Israel?
It may be the world's leading country in the prevalence of construction defects.
A study conducted by the Technion and funded through the Ministry of Construction and Housing found that 100% of apartments in the State of Israel have construction defects.
Our situation, as the saying goes, is extremely precarious, even compared to third world countries.
In fact, it turns out, there is no other enlightened country in the world where there is no obligation to employ a construction site supervisor who is responsible to the regulator for ensuring that it is carried out properly, according to the building permit, standards and required quality.
In countries such as the Congo, an inspector was sent on behalf of the state, but the Israeli governments for generations did not find it necessary.
How did we get to the dubious title of number 1 in the world in construction defects?
The answer to this is complex, notes Prof. Yechiel Rosenfeld, head of the construction management program at the Technion, a senior Israeli expert in construction quality, who dedicated his life to the issue: "No one in the chain feels a real responsibility towards the product. "No one talks about the best, but to cross the threshold with a satisfactory score."
Prof. Rosenfeld sends an accusing finger at the poor professionalism of the workers, many of whom lack formal knowledge and understanding.
"They look at their friends, learn and duplicate their mistakes, the level is low, even very high."
It also notes the greed of the developers, who seek to maximize profits and employ a contractor under a contract with a very low profitability threshold.
This, in turn, signs agreements with 30 consultants and subcontractors whose work is also underpriced.
"This is the seed of disaster, the same main contractor will have very tough negotiations with an air conditioning contractor, who in order to win the project gave a very low bid.
In such a situation, it will also be necessary to cut back on expenses in order to earn something and this is exactly what the result looks like, "he notes, adding that there is aggressive pressure on subcontractors, which translates primarily into poor planning: Far from optimal.
Then there are deficiencies in the materials and the quality of the work. "
What is the most common eclipse?
A previous study conducted by Hadas Building Inspection, one of the most prominent companies in Israel dealing with construction defects, states that in 48% of the condominiums inspected and in 32% of the private homes, moisture was found at various levels.
This is one of the most severe blows of the construction industry.
"Moisture is not related to where the building is located, but to the contractor who performs the work, and there is no connection to the scope of its activity," notes Yaniv Sandovsky, the company's CEO. The executive at the expense of the quality of work.
The use of cheap materials is a matter of routine among some of the contracting companies, which we often encounter when inspecting an apartment before delivery. "
How can the huge proportion of apartments in which leaks and water intrusion are detected be explained?
When diving into the bowels of the matter, Hadas points out that there are a number of common reasons for fluid recurrence and water infiltration.
First, the Israeli standard, which requires the spraying of water for testing their penetration, is not counted, and if this test fails, it is necessary to repair the defect and perform a new test again.
The problem is in some cases that these tests are not performed correctly and completely or are not performed at all.
Moisture is not related to the building but to the contractor.
Yaniv Sandovsky (Photo: Yachz)
In addition, quite a few of the leaks occur as a result of glue savings and insufficient filling of glue that is between the tiles in the exterior cladding.
This eclipse gives its signals immediately after the first rains fall.
Beyond that, even professionals who work on the roof after the sealing is completed impair its effectiveness.
The installation work often causes holes in the bituminous sheets (sealing sheets) placed on the roof and these allow rainwater to penetrate.
"Of course the harm is unintentional, but the lack of attention of the professionals is reflected in the tests," Hadas explains.
The contractors are in no hurry
"True, there are countless cases in which the contractors 'spread the time', but this is also possible in light of the conduct of the apartment owners," notes Adv. Raanan Marom, an expert in real estate and construction defects. , A letter must be sent to him with the opinion of a professional engineer, in order to enable him to correct the defects, by virtue of his contractual obligation and in accordance with the Sale Law.
"At the next stage, and as long as the contractor did not bother to repair the defects professionally and within a reasonable time, there is no alternative to filing a lawsuit in court. According to Adv. .
Efficient conduct will also prevent the possibility given to him to claim a statute of limitations for some of the defects discovered in the apartment. "
Can the purchasers make a preliminary move that will enable them one day to more effectively manage the communication with the contractor?
"Absolutely. In principle, before the delivery of the apartment, two protocols are drawn up. One is an initial protocol prepared a few weeks before the delivery date, indicating the existing and visible defects so that the contractor can correct them before the delivery date. "Indicate the date of delivery, the condition of the apartment and all the visible defects at that time. Accordingly, it is advisable to come with a professional - a building engineer to the date of drafting the protocols and document any visible defect."
There is no obligation for a delivery protocol - and the result can be significant.
Adv. Raanan Marom (Photo: Yachz)
Adv. Marom further notes that since there is no obligation in the Sale Law to prepare a delivery protocol and there is no obligation on the contractor to agree to the accompaniment of an engineer on behalf of the buyers, it is advisable to include this clause in the purchase agreement.
The contractor does not lose
One thing is not clear - if the contractors are losing capital due to the need to repair the defects, why in the first place are they no longer careful about the exact execution of the construction and finishing work?
This is because contractors do not lose.
A study by the National Institute for Construction Research shows that up to 10% of the increase in "construction costs" is due to the need to repair cracks, dampness and other defects.
In fact, a three-stage system has been created: the defects begin with the workers, known in the study as the "creators of the defects";
They are followed by foremen and workers who come to build in the later stages, but prefer to ignore the shortcomings, and are referred to in the study as "omitting the shortcomings";
And finally come the "revealers of the defects", who in many cases are the buyers of the apartments.
However, when the latter reveal the defect after occupancy, the cost of repair is very high, and it is often accompanied by a legal dispute with the contractor.
One of the common claims of the contractors is that the landlord was delayed in giving notice of the defect, which increased for them the damage.
"The buyer has a limited period of time during which he can notify the contractor of the non-conformity found in his apartment," says Adv. Marom. .
If it was not possible to detect the defect in a reasonable examination when receiving the apartment from the contractor - the buyer must notify the defect within a 'reasonable time' from the moment of its discovery.
And finally, there are quite a few flaws that can not be fixed.
How do you act in such a case?
The ruling on the issue is that in cases where there are defects in the property, which there is no practical possibility to repair, or whose repair involves an unreasonably high cost, compensation should be awarded to the property owner that reflects the impairment caused by construction defects, instead of compensation compensation that reflects the cost. "Correction of defects. The ruling also states that in a situation where repairing a defect in the property is unreasonable or impossible, the court will not order the repair of the defect and will not award compensation for the cost involved in repairing the defect."
In such a case, Adv. Marom explains, instead of ruling on compensation for the actual cost of the repair, compensation will be awarded in favor of the property owner that reflects the impairment of the property due to the existence of the defect. In any case, it is always advisable The apartment and during the entire conduct with the contractor.
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