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Close quarters

Tel Aviv would-be tenants invited to live in crawl space below ceiling

Online listing ridiculed for seeking a ‘humble’ resident to pay $375 per month for cramped bed, underlining city’s acute housing crisis and those exploiting it

An elevated storage space listed as a place to sleep, instead of a regular room, in a Tel Aviv apartment-share. (Facebook/courtesy)
An elevated storage space listed as a place to sleep, instead of a regular room, in a Tel Aviv apartment-share. (Facebook/courtesy)

It is no secret that much of central Israel suffers from a severe housing shortage, and nowhere is this felt more than in Tel Aviv, where overpriced, ludicrously small apartments can be found for sale and rent in online listings.

But a modest three-bedroom apartment on Bilu Street in central Tel Aviv may have set a new record.

A rental listing posted last week for the apartment on the Yad2 sales website did not have a room for a potential fourth apartment-mate, but instead offered sleeping quarters in the boydem, a cramped crawlspace just beneath the apartment’s ceiling.

For NIS 1,200 (USD $375) a month, would-be tenants were temptingly told, the lucky renter can enjoy the pleasure of sleeping in the tiny space, customarily used to store suitcases and old furniture.

In addition to the bed, the lucky fourth tenant will receive a private closet and mini-fridge, according to the listing. All other home appliances will be shared with the other roommates, it said.

“Suitable for someone humble who is not looking to pay much and also wants a place to lay their head down in Tel Aviv,” read the listing, which was quickly ridiculed online.

פשוט מזמן לא נשבר פה איזה שיא, אז קבלו: דירת *שלושה* חדרים, שלושה שותפים, שמחפשים שותף *רביעי*. איפה יש מקום לשותף…

Posted by ‎דירות בישראל שמדכאות אותי‎ on Wednesday, September 8, 2021

“You go up to bed with a ladder. It’s suitable for people who just want to come and sleep,” the homeowner told Channel 12 news.

“It’s not a private room, and in fact, there isn’t even a door,” he acknowledged to the network.

Still, “there is no way it will collapse,” he added in response to fears expressed by the interviewer, in what might be cold comfort for a potential tenant.

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