Accommodation in Israel

Accommodation in IsraelProperty in Israel has become increasingly expensive in recent years, which has led to considerable discontent among the Israeli people. High prices and a housing shortage have led many people to move out of city centres. Most expats and locals living in Israeli cities rent their accommodation and often live with housemates. Those who make aliyah are usually entitled to a discount on both housing and council tax.

Types of property in Israel

Apartments are by far the most common property type in Israel, although houses outside of the city are a feasible alternative. Property standards vary considerably, with low-end apartments often not having been refurbished since they were first built in the 1970s or 1980s and new developments frequently offering a shared garden, fitness room, and sometimes even a swimming pool.
Expats should not expect a rented apartment in Israel to already contain many facilities that are usually a ‘given’ in other countries; most come completely unfurnished. Expats should be prepared to fork out for an oven, fridge, washing machine and sometimes even an air conditioning unit. They should also expect to pay utility bills separately from rent. Gas, electricity and water are reasonably priced in Israel, and are usually paid every two months.

Finding property in Israel

When looking for an apartment in Israel, expats should note that ‘one room’ means just that: a studio apartment. ‘Two rooms’ means a living room and a bedroom. Apartments are often advertised as having ‘one and a half’ rooms, which usually means that there is some kind of partition inside the room.
It is possible to rent an apartment through a private landlord or a letting agency. When renting through an agency, the fee is usually the price of a full month’s rent of the apartment signed for. Most people usually go through a private landlord for this reason.

Renting property in Israel

Expats will most likely be dealing with a private landlord when signing a contract for an apartment in Israel. It is extremely important for tenants to understand their contract, so expats who don’t speak Hebrew are strongly advised to bring a native speaker along to assist.

Most rental agreements are for one year, although landlords usually have no problem with tenants who leave sooner, provided they find a new tenant to replace them. Expats should always check this with their landlord if there is any chance they may wish to leave early.  

Expats should always double-check the following:

  • The condition that the apartment should be left in when moving out – some landlords may demand that the tenant repaint the apartment prior to their departure.
  • The maintenance fee (vad ba’it) includes general maintenance of the building, and will be higher if access to a fitness suite or gym is included.
  • Expats with pets should check that there is no clause in the contract that prohibits pets in the apartment.
  • The price increase at the end of the year – this is often written into the contract.

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Our Israel Expert

Abi Nurser's picture
Abi Nurser
Rugby, UK. Tel Aviv, Israel
Abi was born in Rugby, UK.  After completing her degree in English Literature and Spanish at Newcastle University, she... more

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