Hamburger Evron & Co.

  • 12.08.2015, The Court: “Vacate businesses delaying the construction of towers in Tel Aviv”, The Marker

Rubinstein Buildings and Omninet appealed to the court, which ordered the eviction of business owners claiming to be protected tenants in the Hassan Arfa precinct.

The Tel Aviv District Court last week ordered the eviction from the Hassan Arfa precinct in Tel Aviv of two tenants who claimed they had inherited protected tenancy rights. The Court however rejected the claim as both claimants had abandoned the protected business of their fathers.

The Hassan Arfa precinct extends over 80 dunam (80,000 sqm) between Yitzhak Sadeh, Menahem Begin and Hamasger Streets in Tel Aviv. Plans are in place for the construction of 14 towers with an overall area of 270 thousand square meters of offices, retail space, hotels, and residential units. Rubinstein Buildings and Omninet Partnership own the lot on which Avineri and Koritsky are the appellants to the District Court. The companies have rights in the precinct and are promoting the construction of two office towers, while having to get to grips with the owners of the businesses operating on site.

The story of the two protected tenants begins in 1942, when the lease agreements were signed with Shneor Koritsky, whose rights passed to his son Amiel, who died in 2001, and whose widow, Nira, claims the protected tenancy right passed to her. Additionally, subtenant Dvora Avineri, whose husband, Gideon, died in 1983, and his father Avner, who died in 1987, operated a battery business there.

The District Court, headed by Judge Hagai Brenner, ruled that the two tenants lost the right to protected tenancy and must vacate the lot. There are three types of rights: The first is an original protected tenant, the person with whom the lease agreement was made; a derived tenant - i.e., the person who became a protected tenant after the death of the original tenant; and a deferred tenant - namely, the person who steps into the shoes of the derived tenant after his death, and who is in fact the third incarnation of the protected tenancy right.

Koritsky’s husband was a derived tenant and in order for this right to pass to his wife after his death she would have had to continue operating the family business, but did not do so. Therefore Brenner ruled that Koritsky had no rights in the lot and must leave.

Avineri was a subtenant, and the Magistrates’ Court left her rights intact, but the District Court reversed the decision because she did not continue to conduct the original business of her husband and his father, and turned it into a parking lot.

“The applicability of the law is conditional on the tenant continuing at all times to manage exactly the same business conducted in those premises by the deceased,” according to the judgment. “The social objective of the law is to not cut off the source of livelihood of the heir following the death of the tenant, yet, on the other hand, once the heir has found himself sources of income in other occupations, there is no reason for the law to spread its protection over him.

Rubinstein Buildings and Omninet Partnership were represented by attorneys Ori Primo and Ram Museri of law firm Hamburger Evron & Co.