The first thing to realize is that there is no such thing as a standard rental contract in Israel and while the basics may be similar, contracts change from landlord to landlord. The fact that you are reading this means that you are probably not a native Hebrew speaker who will probably be presented with a contract in Hebrew which you will have difficulty understanding. Don't rely on friends or family members for a translation as they might miss legal nuances.

The landlord will in most cases present a document that has been drawn up by a lawyer and in order to protect your interests, it is essential that you employ the services of a properly qualified Israeli lawyer who is also well versed in English. The average charge for a competent real estate lawyer to go over the rental contract with you in detail, translating as you proceed through the contract, is about 50% of one month's rental.

There are certain very important aspects that your lawyer would have to attend to that you would be unable to do yourself, prior to even thinking about the contents of the rental contract. These are:-

  • To ensure that the person or company that is offering to rent the property has the legal authority to do so, being either the legal owner or properly mandated by the owner.
  • That the property is registered for use as a residence or an office as the case may be, to meet your need in terms of the contract. 
  • To ensure that the description of the property in the contract is the same as its description in city records.

Once your lawyer has obtained and given you assurances on these points, the actual contract can then be checked out and here again, there are certain essentials to watch out for, although your lawyer is certain to advise you in this regard. Your Israeli lawyer is the person best suited to advise you before signing any rental agreement and is there to make sure that you are protected from unscrupulous landlords, who unfortunately do exist.