Any number of legal issues arise related to the purchase, sale, and/or ownership of real property. These issues range from zoning inconsistencies to tax challenges to real property ownership by foreign investors. Heskia-Hacmun Law Firm specializes in real estate matters both complex and simple, from the purchase or sale of an apartment to a complex development project.
Legal Challenges and Opportunities in the Purchase and Sale of Real Estate
Israeli law recognizes various land rights including freehold land, long term and short term leases with the Israel Lands Authority. Different legal safeguards are necessary depending upon the nature of the land rights in question.
Various types of problems and opportunities can arise in the sale and purchase of property which require legal advice and guidance. For example, often purchasers and sellers of real estate discover only after signing the sale contract that the real estate does not meet appropriate building requirements. This could be because, for example, previous owners have constructed additional rooms, closed in a balcony, or undertaken some other type of construction or demolition without proper authorization.
In some instances, complications arise where the intended use of the land by the purchaser does not match the zoning regulations. It is, therefore, imperative that diligent and thorough checks take place with the appropriate zoning authorities before the purchase or sale in order to ensure that all is in order. Otherwise, it may be necessary to pay substantial levies or taxes, or contractual damages to your seller or purchaser.
An opportunity is offered to real property owners by so-called Tama 38 projects, the national zoning plan that deals with the reinforcement of existing residential buildings against earthquakes or even rebuilding them from scratch. Property owners who engage in these transactions are eligible for additional building rights or tax benefits.
When a Seller or Purchaser is Not Physically Present in Israel
Many of our international clients want to either buy or sell property, but are not physically present in Israel. Can a transaction take place in this situation? If either the seller or the purchaser is not physically present in Israel, the sale or purchase transaction can still take place by the overseas party signing required documentation at the Israeli consulate or before a notary whose signature is then authenticated. Note that some of the documentation needs to be signed personally, and cannot be signed using a Power of Attorney.
Real Estate Taxes
Real estate taxes are complex, and generally require individual counsel according to the specific transaction. Our real estate tax experience is extensive, and includes the following services:
- Complex tax planning and tax optimization in real estate transactions or transfers;
- The issuance of written legal opinions;
- Representation in tax assessment procedures;
- Obtainment of pre-ruling approvals;
- Representation before the courts and appeal committees;
- The performance of independent tax assessments;
- The processing of liquidation of real estate special holding companies;
- The obtainment of tax abatements for transactions involving urban renewal/structure thickening/National Planning Guidelines for Seismic Strengthening and the obtainment of approvals for urban renewal transactions through the taxation track;
- The processing of the taxation component in real estate swaps;
- The processing of mergers and spin-offs, including real estate assets;
- The processing of the taxation component in real estate investment trusts (REIT), including the professional and interdisciplinary accompaniment that is necessary for the successful foundation of a real estate investment trust (REIT).
- Tax accompaniment throughout the IPO process;
- The formulation of an optimal, operational tax structure;
- Tax consultation and planning for the company management, the controlling shareholders and other involved entrepreneurs.
Contact a Tel Aviv Real Estate Lawyer Today
Heskia-Hacmun Law Firm specializes in all types of real estate matters, both residential and commercial. We can advise on the purchase or sale of an individual apartment or a multi-unit development. We offer legal guidance in combination transactions between landowners and developers, and can represent owners in Tama 38 projects. If you are a foreign investor, we can help you with the intricacies involved with purchasing property if you are not physically present in Israel. Contact a Tel Aviv real estate lawyer today, we will be happy to serve you.