Recently, a Russian-speaking woman urgently needed help and called Yad Riva, Yad Sarah's pro bono legal services for the elderly. She explained that her landlord was demanding payments for eight years of unpaid municipal taxes. Yad Riva immediately took on the case to help this woman in need.
The woman lived in the apartment for seven years, and the contract she had signed with the landlord stated that she was not obligated to pay municipal tax. At the beginning of her eighth year in the apartment, her landlord questioned her about whether she was receiving any Social Security allowance. She replied that she was, and explained that she used the money to cover her living expenses.
At this moment, the landlord saw an opportunity to exploit the woman's situation. He told her that it was mandatory that she come with him to the municipal collection department. Once they were there, he had her authorize a deduction for the municipal taxes directly from her Social Security allowance.The landlord was fully aware that the older woman neither speaks nor reads Hebrew.
To make matters worse, the woman then received a demand to pay a fine of 49,000 NIS for municipal taxes for the past seven years, a violation of their signed contract.
Having all of this happen so suddenly and quickly, the woman felt as though her entire world was collapsing around her. Fortunately, Yad Riva's lawyer was able to contact the municipality, cancel her alleged debt on the municipal tax, and cancel the deduction from her Social Security allowance. This process took about seven months, but the lawyers at Yad Riva were with her every step of the way.
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