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tiripou in b_eretz

Employment opportunity

Unhappy or underpaid in your current position?
Consider working in Israeli real estate!
Begin with one property and gradually expand your business.
What type of properties, you ask?
Assist tourists bewildered & intimidated by all aspects of renting apartments in Israel.

Joking aside, here's just a sampling of the information and advice Pardes has provided, hence my bewilderment and feeling intimidated:

~ rent quotes do not include va'ad bayit, monthly maintenance fees
~ renters pay arnona, city property taxes
~ students are eligible for a substantial discount on the arnona, but the bureaucracy involved is actually frightening
~ an unfurnished apartment may not include an oven or refrigerator
~ many landlords will ask for three to six months' rent up front (my fat ass!)
~ apparently there is no such thing as a standard lease agreement; the school advises having a professional review any rental contract
~ be sure to ask which hour of the day the apartment is heated

The school sent me a link to MyJerusalemApartments.com. She doesn't list prices, but she must charge a lot since tenants don't have to pay utilities, vaad habayit, or arnona, and don't have to provide a cleaning deposit. All she needs is a few well-to-do customers who are willing to part with cash in exchange for convenience. Wish I was one of them.

Finally, here is my barrage of questions:

1. How/from whom do you purchase an internet connection for your apartment? Supposedly, all of Jerusalem is wifi accessible, so perhaps I don't need my own connection? Is public wifi safe?
2. Is a NY phone line a "land line?"
3. I was surprised to read that I'll need to have someone review my apartment contract. What will the reviewer be looking for in the contract?
4. Can you think of a single quick and cheap place for me to purchase all the things I'll need in my apartment (linens and kitchenware)?
5. The drive from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem can't be long. Less than two hours?


There are a couple of Ikeas in Israel...don't know about the rest, but they scare me.
Yes, I was a bit nervous after reading the information about renting. The real excitement was reading the first-hand account of student who had to renew his visa in Jerusalem. (I choose to believe he offended someone, because it can't possibly be *that* difficult.)

Thanks for suggesting Ikea!
Based on what my olim friends say...I suspect that it CAN be that difficult. You'd think a nation settled as a Jewish state could do better at bureaucracy...but noooo. :->
Well, I can't help much about Jerusalem in particular (I didn't know the rule about heating, I do my own heating - but then I'm in Tel-Aviv where it's 29ºC at the moment). But what I do know:

1. Internet connection is a two stage issue. First, you decide on infrastructure (DSL or cable). Then you decide on an ISP. If you already have an active phone line in the apartment, you'll probably just want to go with that as your infrastructure (i.e. if the phone is cable ("Hot") go with cable, if the phone is Bezeq, go with DSL). Choosing an ISP is trickier. Stay away from "012 Smile". I'm not sure if Wifi covers all of Jerusalem. As for its safety, it's the same as all over the world. Don't trust anybody, always use encrypted connections.

2. Any phone which is not a mobile phone, that is any phone that plugs to the wall for its line is a landline. But how is a NY phone relevant to Israel?

3. The legal advisor would look for any terms which are unfair. For example, saying that all fixes are at your expense is considered an unfair term. Requiring you to find a replacement tenant yourself if you leave the apartment even if you give proper advance notice is another common unfair term.

4. For linens and house hold items - perhaps one of the markets is cheap enough - but you'll only find basic things like plates, cups, spoons, etc. There is one IKEA in Israel and it's in Nethanya - quite a long way away from Jerusalem.

5. Drive from TA to Jerusalem - 40-45 minutes out of peak. On peak times it will take a lot longer, though.

And I didn't get the one about "Your sizable backside", ahem. House owners can demand three months in advance because frankly, the demand is bigger than the supply, and they can do whatever they please. In Tel-Aviv it's much worse than that.
Thanks for the info. I'll get my own internet connection and have someone review my contract. As for shopping, it'll be fun to explore the markets and shops in Jerusalem.

how is a NY phone relevant to Israel? I saw the term on two Israeli websites and didn't know what it meant.

"My sizable backside..." um, I guess it expresses disagreement or disbelief. I've never heard anyone but my father say it, so it may be unique to a specific era, a region, or just to my father. He uses quite a few terms that are unique to Depression era Illinois.

Sounds lovely in Tel Aviv. I hope your cats have a sunny window to nap in.