Who is responsible for the payment, what do the payments include, how do you deal with a person who refuses payments and is there room for relief in the days of Corona?
Adv. Sami Israel, the legal advisor of the Housing Culture Association, with all the answers
It is not possible to waive committee payments
The phrase "house committee" has taken on a gray character over the years, usually calling the same head and until he had to go from door to door to remind tenants to pay the monthly tax.
But the committee fees are the ones that make the facade of the building look nicer, the stairwell will be safer and the garden more manicured.
These, and many other areas related to building maintenance, are made possible thanks to regular payment.
"In Israel, about 70 percent of households pay in an orderly manner from house to house," says Adv. Sami Israel, the legal advisor of the Housing Culture Association. "Everyone wants to preserve the pleasant life at home and therefore cooperates in most cases.
Sometimes, when there are disputes and people do not pay we are forced to intervene, sometimes to the point of legal action.
Sometimes there is a conflict regarding the elections to the House Committee and here too we help to bring everyone to an agreement.
There is a morality of payments, but if there are problems, we enter the picture, also in mediation proceedings if necessary, in an attempt to prevent litigation. "
In a conversation with him, Adv. Israel explains that the Association for the Culture of Housing is in fact both an association and a government company, a kind of subsidiary of the Ministry of Housing. It has about 25,000 committee members across the country and 70 branches throughout the country. That the facilities are of the local authority, and the professionals and experts are on behalf of the Cultural Association.
For example, let's say there is a branch of the association in Be'er Sheva - its employees are from the municipality, but the engineer, the lawyer and the architect are freelancers on our behalf. "
How is the involvement of the Association for Generational Culture expressed in the conduct of house committees in Israel?
Chapter 6 of the Real Estate Law defines the relationship between the tenant and the representation of the building. Section 58 of the law is the legal source for charging house committee taxes or renovation money for all that this entails. The association assists house representatives to collect house committee taxes, in addition to other areas related to the common building If, for example, there are cracks in one of the walls of the building, the association intervenes with a recommendation for a professional and financial solution.If there is a leak between two floors or any other nuisance, if the representative wants to choose a management company to run the house for it - in all these areas the housing culture association. There is a wide range of services of subjects that it provides to its members, with the consideration paid by the representative office being about thirty shekels per apartment per year.
"The association represents the representative of the house and in front of it we work. This is the body we contacted and for which we are here. In the era of management companies in the new buildings there are certainly cases where we service the companies themselves. On the other hand those management companies, which sometimes have professionals on their behalf. Proceedings with the tenants themselves, if there are for example refusals of payment. The association helps and facilitates life in the shared house, especially in everything related to the areas of routine management. There are sometimes fundamental questions like who should pay for the elevator - tenant or landlord - whether the roof is shared and all bear costs "Its repair. We come to provide a service in order to make life easier for the occupants of the house and the representation. It can be said that the association provides a cover that provides solutions to any need that arises in the common house."
Adv. Israel gives an example of a number of general guidelines for the management and payment of taxes to the House Committee: “An empty apartment must be paid to the House Committee.
It should be understood that taxes to the house committee are meant to maintain the house, pay for electricity, water, landscaping, maintenance, and once one apartment does not pay it means that others have to pay more.
It is important that every tenant demands a receipt for each payment, once every six months the house committee must submit an orderly financial report of what came in and what came out of its coffers. Every payment because it creates order and knowing who paid, how much and for what period. "
First pay - then complain
First pay - then complain
In many cases tenants request paid discounts to the house for various reasons, mainly due to a cash flow problem.
"Since the House Committee is only an operating body, it is not authorized to give discounts to apartment owners, even if it is difficult for them to meet payments," emphasizes Adv. Israel.
"There is no way to oblige landlords to finance another landlord, unless it has been agreed. It is important, in the case of those who refuse to pay, to take precautionary measures in advance in order to thwart any development of a norm of those who refuse to pay."
The reasons for some people's refusal to pay taxes to the House are many and varied, and are mainly based on interpersonal conflicts and dissatisfaction such as personal conflict with House representatives, lack of chemistry between people, unsettled relationships for various reasons and claims against the House (no financial reports, not properly managed And so on).
What do you do in a case where, after all the clarifications and convening of the tenants' meeting, there are those who are refusing to pay the committee's taxes?
"As we mentioned in the introduction, section 58 of the Real Estate Law requires every landlord to pay taxes to the landlord. The law deals with the landlord and imposes the obligation to pay. As long as the tenant pays taxes to the landlord instead of the landlord, this is fine. But once the tenant stops paying. "A referral and the obligation to pay is addressed to the landlord. A financial claim can be filed against a refusing tenant before the Supervisor of Land Registration. After the judgment is rendered, it can be submitted to the Execution Bureau."
The ruling of the Supervisors of Land Registration unequivocally stated that the lack of financial capacity is not a reason to stop paying taxes to the House Committee.
In cases of dispute on a personal or professional basis the landlord must continue to pay the taxes and resolve the dispute through the Housing Culture Association or by legal means (filing a claim).
An apartment owner cannot condition the payment on the production of documents or on the performance of a house representation task in his favor (e.g. cleaning the stairwell).
"The ruling states," says Adv. Israel, "that the payment of taxes to the House Committee is an absolute obligation and in the event that one of the tenants has complaints, then 'payment separately and claims separately'.
This has already become a slogan, meaning there is no right of set-off and it cannot be argued that non-payment is due to the committee not functioning or not being elected legally.
You have to pay and then raise the claims through a lawsuit. "
And at what stage do you get legal action against those who refuse to pay?
"If the landlord does not pay the house committee's taxes, it is recommended that the committee consult with the branch of the Housing Culture Association in his area of residence. In the first stage, the association tries to clarify with the refusing tenant to make peace between the neighbors, because at the end of the day they live together. If he refuses, he will be sent a warning letter on behalf of the branch.The third step is to send a legal warning letter on behalf of the lawyer of the Housing Culture Association and finally file a monetary claim before the Superintendent of Land Registration - a qualified judge handling condominiums.
"House taxes are paid once a month when there are two payment options: one, according to the floor area of the apartment, so that a large apartment pays more than a small apartment. The other, according to custom, is an equal amount for all apartments. However, once one tenant requests To pay according to the floor area of the apartment, the representative of the house must determine that the payment will be in this way for all the occupants of the building. "
In periods like the corona crisis, when many people are in an economically sensitive situation, are there any reliefs?
"These days, when the state is still dealing with the virus, there should be flexibility in payment - in deployment or waiting for payment according to the tenant's ability. General to a number of General Assemblies (Capsules) ".
Photo: Maya Baumel-Birger
Photo: Maya Baumel-Birger
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