Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sharing the Cost, Sharing the Burden




Inasmuch as we need to keep our options for the next few years open, my wife and I are no longer homeowners, at least for the moment.  Our son lined us up a rental apartment prior to our arrival in Israel, and a friend of ours recommended his lawyer to us; it has proven to be a very good recommendation. Our landlord is a American whose plans to have his son live in the apartment went bust when the son's wife got indicted for some undisclosed offense (I get the sense that it involved drugs), the marriage began to fall apart, and the child custody and visitation arrangements effectively preclude the landlord's son from leaving the area of his residence, much less the United States.

The landlord wants what the lease agreement refers to as "commercial silence," in return for which the monthly rental is reduced by 300 shekel per month as long as we do not contact the landlord and our postdated "head checks" clear when the landlord's attorney deposits them every month.  As is standard for Israel apartment rentals, the tenant is required to pay, in addition to rent and utilities, the common building charges assessed to the landlord.

Our apartment building had a major elevator failure, necessitating costly repairs which, in turn, necessitated a supposed one-time call of 725 shekel (this is in addition to the 275 shekel per month we pay as ordinary building maintenance fee).

To be sure, we do get what we pay for.  The building is well maintained, including outside landscaping. 

Before we first came here, more than one friend/relative asked us why we didn't buy or rent a single family house.  Had we done so, we would not have the advantage of 31 additional contributors to bear the financial load of our general building repairs (not that too many single family homes here have elevators, but they all have roofs, etc.).

Last evening, I learned that the building superintendent has engaged counsel (who lives in the building down the street) to try to recover what is now being spent to fix the elevator.  Whatever is recovered will be returned to the tenants, whether in cash or as a credit against future monthly maintenance fees.  The new counsel informs me that our chances of some sort of recovery look quite promising.

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