Registering Real Estate in Israel
In Israel, the right and legal action of purchasing Real Estate is through the Land Registry Department included under the Ministry of Justice, or as often referred in Israel “The Tabu”. The Israeli Tabu is the body in charge of registering any Real Estate action into the Bureau’s official books. There are three different and separate books: the Rights Book, the Joint House Book and the Deeds book. The assets recorded in the first book are regulated by the Torrens system. Most property in Israel is recorded in this book. The assets in the second book are assets that contain two or more separate real estate units. Lastly, the third book records assets that are not regulated by the Torrens system and are not listed as multiple units.
Only by proper registration, one makes his legal action (selling, buying, parceling etc.) lawful in Israel in accordance with the stipulation in Section Number 7 of the Israeli Real Estate law of 1969. It is important to submit the registration in the same regional bureau of the location of the property or properties. If the action has not resulted in registration in one of the nine bureaus spread throughout Israel, it will be considered as a binding commitment. In Israel, the registration is legally binding, and the property will legally switch hands only when the registration has been completed. Registering in the Israeli Tabu official books secures the legal rights of the landowner and increases the value of the property. Registration also allows for the rapid transfer of property rights to the new owners, saves money and time, and is an essential condition of the transfer of ownership of property in Israel.
After purchasing real estate, the actual purchase is for the usage of rights on the property. At the end of the registration process, the Israeli Tabu bureau issues the registrar a deed stating the period of the tenancy and the termination date, and any proprietary information regarding the asset (if it is capitalized, mortgaged, confiscated etc.). In addition, the deed on assets regulated by the Torrens system includes the precise location of the asset in Israel, specifying the division of block, parcel and sub-parcel. The deed becomes the de jure I.D. of the asset and it holds the same information as the Tabu. This information is considered highly credible and only in very rare and extreme situations may it be subverted. In this way, the Tabu system ensures to the greatest extent the property rights of the landowners.
In some cases in Israel, an individual may buy real estate and the construction has not yet been completed. For instance, a buyer of an apartment in a residential building that is still under construction cannot register his proprietary rights over the apartment since the apartment does not yet exist. The legal solution that the Israeli legislature has established to address this very common situation is to register a “cautionary note” in the Tabu in accordance with the stipulation in Section Number 26 of the Israeli Real Estate law. Therefore, when another potential buyer visits the Israeli Tabu to write a new cautionary note, he may discover that the asset has already been sold. The mortgage is also recorded as a cautionary note in order to alert others of potential bonds. For the same reason, cautionary notes may be recorded in the form of a third party agreement, third party rights, liens, demolition orders, and notes under Israeli Planning and Zoning laws. It should be noted that only a person who holds a written agreement granting the transfer of the rights by the holder of the proprietary rights is allowed to register a cautionary note.
Before buying a real property asset in Israel, the prospective buyer is strongly recommended to issue a Tabu deed at the start of negotiations to ensure that there are no particular complexities that can interfere with or prevent the deal from consummating. Even a seller of real property in Israel is strongly advised to issue a Tabu deed to ensure that the proprietary rights are listed in the seller’s name in a legal manner to avoid any interference that will obstruct the deal. It is highly recommended that any individual considering buying or selling real property in Israel consults with an experienced attorney who is familiar with Israeli law.