If you are thinking of buying an apartment in an old building perhaps you should think again. Many municipalities are demanding of apartment owners in old buildings that they renovate the façade of their buildings – at their expense, and boy is it expensive. If you can afford it you will do it because of course this would enhance the worth of the property. However, what happens if you can’t afford it? What happens if only some of the apartment owners in the building can afford and some cannot?
In Tel Aviv, not giving your building a face lift, after you have been asked to do so by the municipality, will make you a criminal. As opposed to other cities, in Tel Aviv leaving the façade without renovation is a crime. The municipality will do the renovation work itself and send the bill to the apartment owners while at the same time initiating criminal charges against them. The nightmare begins with a letter from the municipality declaring the façade of the building neglected. The letter will include a list of work it feels are needed to be done on the façade. The apartment owners are asked to do the work with the supervision of an engineer. Should the apartment owners not comply then the municipality can do the work for them and send them the bill.
Keeping the façade of the buildings in any city is of high public interest. Our cities should look nice and clean and this includes the facades of buildings as well. Many other cities in Israel have such a city code but they do not enforce it. Is not enforcing the law in this instance serving the public good? Should the cities look ugly and neglected? On the other hand, is it right that the municipality interfere with the facades of the buildings if the building itself is not dangerous?
What do you think?
It should be noted that the Jerusalem municipality decided to renovate the facades of buildings in the center of town at its expense and not at the expense of the apartment owners.