What’s included in the rental fee
In most leases, there is a separation between the definition of the rent and the other payments that apply to the tenant according to the lease.
At the same time, sometimes the separation is not clear enough and there is widespread room for disagreement.
Moreover, in my humble opinion, there is a lack of uniformity and little uncertainty in the Rent Law regarding the question of what is included as rent.
The law defines in the first section of the Rent Act that ‘rent’ is not only payments that the tenant must pay to the landlord directly, but also all the payments that the tenant must pay.
The law states: “Rent is a right granted in return (hereinafter – rent), to own the property and use it not permanently.” And ostensibly by this definition, the rent is total and broad.
But in section 25 (9a) of the Rent Law, the definition is slightly different in my opinion.
The clause provides that a tenant shall pay the “rent under the residential lease”.
And in the same section, it was determined that in addition to the rent, the tenant must also pay property taxes, water, electricity, gas, and payments for the purpose of regular maintenance paid to the house committee and the like. That is, these are additional payments that apply to the tenant other than rent.
To the extent that there is any doubt as to whether any payment is included in the rent, a law may be invoked that the tenant shall pay the rent “which should have been paid according to the circumstances at the time of the conclusion of the contract.”
Or in the language of section 13 of the Rent Act: “(a) The tenant must pay the landlord the rent. (B) No rent rate has been agreed upon or by way of determining them, rent that would have been payable according to the circumstances at the time of entering into the contract.”
It follows that in the event that the lease does not refer to payments that the tenant must pay beyond those paid directly to the landlord, then it can be argued that these payments are part of the rent.
As part of an amendment to the Rent Law regarding fair rent, the legislature found it appropriate to specify what payments the tenant will bear.
This is to ensure that the tenant will not bear payments that are not directly related to the rent in the apartment, that the imposition on the tenant is not fair or proper, and is possible only due to the differences in power between the parties. Thus, section 25 (9a) of the Rent Law stipulates that:
“The tenant shall bear in these payments regarding the rental period: (1) rent under the residential lease; (2) taxes applicable to the owner of the apartment, including property taxes; (3) payments for consumption of current services provided to the tenant in the apartment, including water, electricity, gas, and heating; (4) payments for regular maintenance paid to the representative of the condominium or to whom a contract is concluded for the management and maintenance of the condominium; (5) another type of payment determined by the Minister.
(B)) Including these payments: (1) a payment intended for the purchase or improvement of permanent systems or installations that serve the rented apartment, except for special adjustments or improvements requested by the tenant; (2) insurance premiums for the insurance of the rented apartment with building insurance. “