Apartments in Israel are registered in the Israeli Land Registry as condominiums, or “Bayit Meshutaf” in Hebrew. Within every “condominium”, each apartment is registered as a separate entity, while the outer walls, lobby, elevator, stairway, garden etc. are considered communal property.
Certain areas can be taken out of the communal property and attached” to a specific apartment; part of the roof can be “attached” to a specific apartment (usually on the top floor), each apartment in a building may have a parking space “attached” to it, and part of the garden can be “attached” to ground floor apartments.
When an owner wishes to build an addition to his property he must obtain agreement of 75% of the apartment owners who own 66% of the communal property. This often breeds one of the most common grievances between neighbors in a building, when an apartment owner seeks his neighbors’ ”permission” for a building permit and one or more of his neighbors refuse.
These types of disputes may be brought before the supervisor of the Registrar of Condominiums who can adjudicate.
A recent dispute brought before the supervisor of the Registrar of Condominiums in Acre involved an owner who wished to add a porch to his apartment. One neighbor on the opposite side of the building objected on the grounds that this construction would infringe on building rights of other owners in the building.
The supervisor visited the building to investigate the situation and she verified with the local municipality that no building rights would be infringed. She therefore decided that an apartment owner could not refuse to agree to the construction without proper grounds.