A Tenant’s Guide to Tama 38 / Ohad Shpak
Adopted in 1980, the Israeli Building Standard for the Durability of Buildings against Earthquakes was passed due to the estimation that most of the structures built in the country up until that point did not meet that standard. There was a real concern that in the event of a strong earthquake in Israel, many buildings would collapse and many people would be put at serious risk.
In 2005, a national plan was approved to strengthen existing buildings against earthquakes (also known as Tama 38). Tama 38 is a collection of regulations whose main function is to deal with the risks associated with earthquakes.
The cost of strengthening these buildings and bringing them up to the 1980 standard has shown to be relatively high, which has required a solution for financing the construction work. Through Tama 38, economic incentives are given by granting increased building rights and encouraging homeowners to reinforce their buildings.
Before the owners of apartments contact a Tama 38 contractor or developer, it’s important to include a few simple precautions in any agreement with that contractor or developer.
Selection of representatives
If you’re an apartment owner/building owner, hold a meeting and choose representatives who will oversee the process. Exact roles should be defined. In addition, you should appoint a lawyer with experience in property law, specifically in Tama 38 projects, who will represent you.
Don’t sign documents that limit your ability to negotiate. If you sign a letter of approval or a document of intent, make sure that the document includes a time frame in which the contractor needs to complete the project.
Choosing the contractor
This is the most important step, so hold a meeting with all apartment owners and your lawyer to examine multiple offers. Weigh the pros and cons of each offer and analyze the individual concerns of each owner. And if something sounds too good, examine the feasibility of that proposal and compare it to others. It is also possible to stipulate that construction only be performed by a registered contractor.
An agreement between the owners of apartments for the entrepreneur or contractor is complex. Sometimes, it takes a while until the negotiations lead to actual signing. Set a timetable for things like: when all the tenants should sign, when the building permit should be issued, when construction should actually start and end, repairs and the completion of registration. Ensure that proper collateral arrangements are agreed upon, as well as an implementation guarantee and security checkup to deal with defects that may appear later.
Keep in mind that according to newest version of the law, developers of Pinui U’Binui projects must word their contracts according to the pre-established Israeli Sale Law, as if they were selling a new apartment.