A new survey conducted by Mazeh 9 the Tel Aviv Municipality’s Center for Young Adults found more than a third of renters in Israel require assistance from their parents to make their monthly rent payments, a third of renters are forced to relocate because of rent increases, and 85% of renters said they have been unable to sign a long-term contract with a landlord.
The survey queried 1,080 online respondents during January. The respondents were overwhelmingly from Tel Aviv (62%), with 9% living in Jerusalem, 8% living in Beersheva, while the rest of the sample came from across the country, including Ramat Gan, Haifa, Rehovot, Petah Tikva, Givatayim, and Holon.
The survey did not present a representative sample of the population but provided a glance at developments in the rental market which is not regulated by any authority.
According to the survey, 36% of renters noted they cannot afford their rent and relied on parental assistance to make their monthly payments; 31% of respondents said they were forced to move apartments due to a rent increase; and 35% of those surveyed said their landlord did not properly maintain the property and reported the landlord asked them to pay for repairs that fall under the property owner’s responsibility.
When asked about their rent payments, 40% of respondents said their landlord raised their rent this year; 85% of renters said their contracts were for only one year.
The survey further portrayed the insecurity that plagues renters: 29% said they had to move at least three apartments in the past five years. One of the survey questions also clarified the need for regulation and legislation to define the relationship between renters and landlord 5.5% of respondents said they were forced to pay lawyer fees on behalf of the landlord at the time of signing their contract.
“The survey shows once again the rental market in Israel is broken; the steep price increases and lack of stability are wearing out our youth,” said Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai on Wednesday. “It is a lawless market, and the party needs to be ended by legislation to regulate and improve terms for both renters and landlords.”
The survey results were presented Wednesday to the Special Committee for the Transparency and Accessibility of Government Information, chaired by Zionist Union MK Stav Shaffir. At the hearing, it was revealed the Israel Tax Authority and the Ministry of Finance do not have a realistic estimate of the number of landlords that owe taxes on their rented properties.
The Tax Authority representative said that a request for information was sent to 37,000 landlords for the first time in 2014 78% reported renting their property for the first time, even as tens of thousands of landlords were simply not audited.
MK Shaffir: “Instead of internalizing the lessons of last year’s Comptroller’s Report, which proclaimed the necessity of better data do develop an effective policy to solve the housing crisis, the government has been confusing the public and renters. It’s irresponsible.”
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 18, 2016
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