JERUSALEM (VINnews) — A Beis Din in Beitar Illit has issued an unusual ruling which would prevent residents from performing any construction work on the roofs of their buildings during the winter months as this can cause significant damage to neighbors.
In a special letter issued by the Beis Din of Ashkenazi communities in the city, they write that “with the advent of the rainy winter days, numerous cases have come to us in which residents and contractors have begun working on roofs of apartment buildings, removing the tiles or the sealants from the roofs. This has led to rain seeping into the apartments of neighbors, causing heavy damage to apartments and property as well as difficult living conditions with electric short circuits etc.
“It is clear that these people are transgressing the prohibition to cause damage and aggravation to neighbors. We therefore declare that it is forbidden by halacha to remove the roofs or sealants before the month of Nissan unless there is sealant or insulation preventing rainwater from entering the apartments. The residents on lower floors have the right to delay construction work during this period and if necessary the Beis Din will enable them to take steps to prevent the construction.
The Dayanim threatened financial sanctions on those who build in the winter if they cause damage to neighbors “even via grama [causative factors] as well as forcing them to pay the neighbors for a replacement apartment during the construction.”