What on earth is a Housing Corporation (Chevra Meshakenet)?!

A chevra meshakanet (a “housing corporation” or “settlement company”) is a large public building company that exists in Israel, which has constructed large numbers of dwelling units and temporarily registered them in an quasi (mini) land registry.


This legal arrangement is prevalent in newly constructed or about to be constructed residential buildings. For example, an apartment may have been purchased “on paper” from a building contractor (kablan) or entrepreneur (yazam). In such a case, the builder will normally have obtained the rights to construct the apartment building from the Israel Land Administration (Minhal Me’karkei Yisrael or Minhal). Following the construction, the builder will need to register the building as a cooperative house or condominium building (bayit meshutaf), whereby each apartment will be registered, with its own sub-parcel (Tat Chelka) number, in the Land Registry (Lishkat Rishum Me’karkein or Tabu) as a long-term lease.


When purchasing an apartment registered at a Chevra Meshakenet, in the interim period between winning the tender and registering each condominium owner’s rights in the Land Registry, it is important to insist that the seller’s attorney provide you with a Certificate of Rights (Ishur Zechuyot) from the builder/entrepreneur. An Ishur Zechuyot from the Israel Land Administration will need to be obtained in most cases too. The rights of the builder/entrepreneur and the nature of the building to be constructed will all need to be thoroughly examined before purchasing an apartment in this framework. Selling an apartment of this nature during this intermediate period also requires substantial documentation and verification of the rights involved particularly when mortgages are taken.


By Simon Jackson

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