What is the role of the Va’ad Bayit?

Va’ad Bayit is a committee that serves as the representative of the apartment owners in a building and is responsible for the proper management and maintenance of the common areas, and the implementation of the necessary repairs on the structure of the building. The committee is elected by a general meeting of all apartment owners in the building, which is held once a year, and the number of its members can range from one to five. One of the members of the committee must be designated treasurer.

Functions and responsibilities of the Va’ad Bayit

The functions of the Va’ad Bayit include opening a bank account in the name of the committee, collecting payments against receipt, and depositing them into the joint account, contracting with various service providers to maintain the common property, managing an income and expenses book, preparing a financial report once every six months, and organizing a meeting of apartment owners at least once a year.  The Va’ad Bayit may sue one of the apartment owners in the building for non-compliance with its obligations under law. The committee is obligated to allow any landlord who so desires to review the income and expenses book and financial statements.

Until the 1980s, most residential buildings in Israel had a fairly simple structure, reaching a height of 3 or 4 floors, most of which did not even include an elevator. The main responsibility of the Va’ad Bayit was to ensure the cleanliness of the stairwell and landscaping, and accordingly, the monthly committee fees today in such buildings are modest, usually ranging from NIS 100 to NIS 200 per month.

Residential Towers

However, since the early 1990s, residential towers have been built in Israel, and with them, the functions of the committee have become more numerous and complex. Today, high-rise buildings include complex and expensive systems, whose proper functioning may even have life-saving significance, such as fire extinguishing systems. At the same time, the common areas have also become fancier and well-furnished, and luxury towers may include a lobby, pool, and gym. In such towers, Va’ad Bayit fees may reach more than NIS 1,000. Due to the more complex nature of these towers, residents generally prefer to hire the services of a management company, to which most of the committee’s tasks are transferred. However, it is important to note that the management company does not replace the board itself, and it is still required to supervise its work.

When no one volunteers to be on the Va’ad Bayit

According to the law, each residential building must have a Va’ad Bayit to manage its affairs. However, the committee’s activities are voluntary and apartment owners in the building cannot be forced to serve as committee members. When there is no one among the apartment owners interested in volunteering, apartment owners can turn to the Association for Housing Culture – a government-owned association whose role is to encourage a culture of living in buildings, to help select the committee, or to contact the Land Registry Inspector at the Ministry of Justice to appoint an external person to manage the building’s affairs, who will be employed for a fee that will be divided by all residents.

This guide is intended to provide the reader with general information and not to serve as legal or other professional advice. Readers are advised to obtain advice from qualified professionals before entering into any real estate transaction.

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