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> Hemdat Yamim

Shabbat Parashat Toldot 5783

P'ninat Mishpat: Did the Realtor Help? part I

(based on ruling 82097 of the Eretz Hemdah-Gazit Rabbinical Courts)

Case: A real-estate agent (=pl) publicized in a WhatsApp group an apartment for rent, with a video of the interior and basic details (with name of street but not building #). The defendants (=def) set up an appointment to see the apartment. While waiting for pl to finish with a previous client, def figured out that the apartment was owned by friends and that they had considered renting it months ago, but it had been too expensive (7,500 NIS a month). Def promptly called the owner, who said that it was not on the market but looked into it and found out that the present renter wanted to leave early and had asked pl to put it on the market. Def then told pl they knew the apartment and refused to sign the agent agreement and ended up renting it directly from the owners for 7,000 NIS. Pl demands a full realtor’s fee because he gave def the information through which they were able to rent it. Def argue that they are exempt because they did not sign the contract and because the owners had promised to tell them if the price went down, which they would have done when they found out the renter was looking for a replacement.

 

Ruling: Israeli law regarding real estate agents determines that they are entitled to their fee only if three conditions are all met: 1. They are licensed agents. 2. They signed the client to a detailed contract. 3. They were the "effective factor" in bringing the sides to an agreement. In several piskei din of our network, we have determined that we generally view this law as the valid “law of the land” for these purposes. This is to a great extent because the law is designed to prevent quarrels over when the agent deserves payment (see Shut Harashba II, 356).

We should therefore determine whether pl was the effective factor for def’s renting of the apartment. On the one hand, def claimed that they had a promise in hand from the owners to let them know if the apartment was on the market in a manner that was feasible for them. On the other hand, def could not assure us that this definitely would have happened. Pl is correct that the fact that the owners had already lowered the price from 7,500 to 7,000 NIS (for the present renter) without telling pl raises questions if they would have let def know this time, and especially if the renter would have presented them with someone ready to rent at their price.

However, we believe that there is still doubt on the matter. If the renter had not found a new renter promptly, the renter might have told the owners who then likely would have approached def. We note that while in the beginning, pl rejected def’s entire story as a fabrication to get out of paying, evidence presented during the hearing caused him to accept def’s story. We note also that def suggested calling the owners while in beit din to hear their perspective and pl refused (as was his right) to do so. Therefore, the question of credit for facilitating the rental remains unsolved.

We continue with other elements next time.

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Dedication

We daven for a complete and speedy refuah for:

Nir Rephael ben Rachel Bracha
Yisrael ben Rivka

Arye Yitzchak ben Geula Miriam

Neta bat Malka

Meira bat Esther
Yerachmiel ben Zlotta Rivka

Together with all cholei Yisrael

Hemdat Yamim is dedicated

to the memory of:

Those who fell in wars

for our homeland

 

Rav Shlomo Merzel z”l
Iyar 10, 5771


Rav
Reuven & Chaya Leah Aberman z"l
Tishrei 9
,5776 / Tishrei 20, 5782

 

Mr. Shmuel & Esther Shemesh z"l

Sivan 17 / Av 20

 

Mr. Moshe Wasserzug z"l

Tishrei 20 ,5781

 

R' Eliyahu Carmel z"l

Rav Carmel's father

Iyar 8 ,5776

 

Mrs. Sara Wengrowsky

bat RMoshe Zev a”h.

Tamuz 10 ,5774

 

Rav Asher & Susan Wasserteil z"l
Kislev 9 / Elul 5780

R' Meir ben

Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld z"l

&

Mrs. Sara Brachfeld z"l

Tevet 16 ,5780

 

R 'Yaakov ben Abraham & Aisha

and

Chana bat Yaish & Simcha

Sebbag, z"l

 

Rav Yisrael Rozen z"l
Cheshvan 13, 5778

 

Rav Benzion Grossman z"l
Tamuz 23, 5777

 

R' Abraham Klein z"l

Iyar 18 ,5779

&

Mrs. Gita Klein z"l

Av 4

 

Rav Moshe Zvi (Milton) Polin z"l
Tammuz 19, 5778

 

R' Yitzchak Zev Tarshansky z"l

Adar 28, 5781

 

Nina Moinester z"l

Nechama Osna bat Yitzhak Aharon & Doba

Av 30, 5781

 

Rabbi Dr. Jerry Hochbaum z"l

Adar II 17, 5782

 

Mrs. Julia Koschitzky z"l

Adar II 18, 5782

 

Mrs. Leah Meyer z"l

Nisan 27, 5782

 

George Weinstein z"l

Gershon ben Yehudah Mayer

 a lover of the Jewish Nation Torah and Land.

 

Jack Levin z"l

 Chaim Yaakov ben Shlomo Yitzchak HaLevi

 

Tamar Lichtenstadt z”l.

May her memory be a blessing.

 

Hemdat Yamim
is endowed by
Les
z"l  & Ethel Sutker
of Chicago, Illinois
in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker
& Louis and Lillian Klein z”l

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