Part of having a great summer or year at Pardes is having a good living experience in an apartment in Jerusalem. It can be challenging to find an apartment, especially from abroad, but you can do it! Below please find a few guidelines to help in your apartment search.
- Pardes is located in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Talpiot. If you want to live near Pardes, you will want to search for an apartment in Talpiot, Arnona, Mekor Haim, Baka, the German Colony, Katamon, Katamonim, or Rechavia/Talbiyah (a little farther away).
- If you live with roommates in a furnished apartment, you can expect to pay $700-$900 per month, per person, or 2200 NIS – 2900 NIS, not including utilities (and again, with roommates). A one-bedroom will cost more, about 3200-4500 NIS.
- Before signing a lease and/or moving in with a roommate/s, it is important to be very clear about all the conditions of the rental: what the landlord is responsible for and what you are responsible for financially. If possible, ask for references (names of former tenants or roommates), people whom you can approach and ask about the apartment in general and the landlord/roommate in particular.
- Clarify if the rent is to be paid in dollars or shekels and how it is to be paid. For example, will you have to physically go to the landlord’s bank branch on the first of every month? Will you need to have an Israeli bank account in order to do a direct deposit? Some landlords may require you to have an Israeli checkbook and give them post-dated checks for the year.
- Note that apartments are described in the number of total rooms – not just the number of bedrooms.
- The price of rent most likely will NOT include the monthly fee to the va’ad bayit (building upkeep committee), the yearly arnona (city property tax), or utilities.
- Unfurnished could very well mean no refrigerator, oven or washer/dryer – clarify with the landlord.
- Some landlords will ask you to pay 3-6 months rent up-front, in one lump sum.
- Some landlords will require a security deposit (which will be around one month’s rent, returned to you at the end of the rental period if there are no damages).
- If joining an apartment with roommates, consider asking about Shabbat observance, kashrut, rules about hospitality etc.
Apartment hunting resources:
- The “pardes-housing-help” Google group – a private group for students who have been accepted to Pardes. If you are interested in an ad, be careful to contact the contact person listed in the body of the email and DON’T hit “reply.” Most people renting out their apartments do not have access to the group and their messages are posted by the moderator.
- Apartments/Roommates in Jerusalem (English)
- Apartments for rent in Jerusalem/Rehavia/Nachlaot/Baka/Talbiya
- Looking for apartments Jerusalem 2
- A Jerusalem Facebook group (no agencies allowed)
- Secret Jerusalem (more than just apartments)
- Yedidya Housing Bulletin: Scroll down for “Offering a Place to Stay” (Most rentals on this list are right near Pardes.)
- Janglo Real Estate Listings
- Jerusalem Craig’s list
- Madlan apartment listings
- Yad2 apartment listings
- Jerusalem Roommates (Hebrew facebook)
- דירות מפה לאוזן ירושלים (Hebrew facebook)
- Sublet Jerusalem (Hebrew facebook – no agencies allowed)
- For Rent By Owner Jerusalem (English facebook)
- Buy, Sell, Rent, Sublet (English facebook group)
- Furnished Israel (English, facebook, not Jerusalem specific)
There are occasional scam listings so if it looks fishy, show it to someone else or move on. A reminder that a two room apartment only means one bedroom and so on. Most furnished apartments advertised on facebook are not by owners but through real estate agencies which require a fee.
If you do not have a place to stay once you arrive in Israel, there are a few options for temporary housing (some much more expensive than others!).
- Mike’s House – a guest house in Katamonim, not far from Pardes. 300 NIS per night for a single room (only one available) and 350 NIS for a double room. https://www.mikeshouse.org/ or contact Mike directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
- NEW – Shir Hadash short-term rental. Sleeps up to 8 people, 1000 NIS per night. A “soft-landing” in Jerusalem if a group of students arrive without permanent housing: The 3 bedroom Hospitality House is located close to the President’s House, Jerusalem Theater and the Hansent Design Center (all 5 minute walks), Emek Refaim and the First Station (10 minutes), and the Center of town (15 minutes). It also is roomy, clean and newly furnished, as well as possessing a large outdoor space. email@example.com
- Beit Ben Yehuda is a guesthouse very close to Pardes with option of private or shared rooms; seebeit-ben-yehuda.org, possibility of discount for Pardes students; 02-673-0124 / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Baka Rentals is less than a ten-minute walk to Pardes and are fully furnished including sheets and towels. bakarentals.com / email@example.com / 054-763-1189
- Little House in Bakah or Little House in the Colony (small hotels very close to Pardes): http://www.jerusalem-hotel.co.il/
- Tami’s Bed & Breakfast (reservations recommended far in advance): tamisbnbjerusalem.wordpress.com
- http://www.yedidya.org.il/apts.htm Scroll down for “Offering a Place to Stay”
- Israel Youth Hostel Association IYHA
- Arnona: The annual city property tax based on the size of the apartment can range from 3000-6000 NIS per year. It can be paid monthly or yearly. Some students are able to obtain an 80% discount but many are unsuccessful.
- Va’ad Bayit: A monthly fee paid to your building’s committee of residents. This money covers general maintenance of the building and central heating if you have it.
- Agent fee: If you find your apartment through an agent you will be charged an additional month’s rent as their payment. This is true, even if all the agent did was show you the apartment once, and you did not seek out their service but responded to an ad.
- Furnishings – in some cases you may need to buy a desk, bed or closet. A great site for finding household furnishings and other second hand goods: https://www.yad2.co.il or you can see giveaway facebook groups: למסירה הכל בחינם (‘all items free’) and also on Free Stuff JLM
- Washer and dryer: Most apartments don’t have dryers; you’ll need to buy a drying rack if the apartment does not have a window laundry line. Note that you can buy an electric, heated drying rack which cuts down on drying time.
- Heat: Many apartments don’t have central heat. During the winter you will most likely need a space heater which, besides its own cost, will significantly raise your electricity bill.
- Check if you’ll have to repaint the walls or professionally clean the apartment before leaving.
- Hot water: Be aware of the source of your hot water. In newer buildings, water is solar heated, which cuts down on expenses and is environmentally friendly. If your water is solar heated, you will need to pre-heat it in the winter, on cloudy days and sometimes on summer mornings by flipping the “dud shemesh” switch.
- MOLD is very common in Israel and you will be expected to take care of it yourself (as opposed to calling the landlord, though you can always ask…). Solutions: Leave windows open a crack, even in the winter, and use bleach to wipe down problem areas.
Real Estate Agencies
(Note that using an agent incurs an extra fee – usually one month’s rent)
The following list was compiled by a 2021-22 who had contact with all the following agencies.
- Zedek Group – contact Shlomo, +972 054-2030209
- JBA Rentals contact Liroy +972 50-440-9999
- Realtor who is super is responsive in English: Levi Feld +972 52-956-5228
- Abu Tor Realty has furnished and unfurnished apartments: , contact Yair +972 54-545-9575
- There is an agency that has videos of all their properties: +972 54-328-9822
- Boutique Pro agency