Man Fined NIS 90,000 for Installing Satellite Dishes to Stop Neighbor Selling Apartment

The Haifa Magistrate's Court has ordered Igor Walodersky to pay his neighbor NIS 90,000 in compensation for placing six satellite dishes all told in the yard and on the roof of their shared building and thus discouraged potential clients from purchasing the neighbor's apartment.

In his ruling last week, Judge Yehoshua Ratner wrote that Walodersky caused a "psychological deterrent" in his intensive use of satellite dishes for his business that went beyond the acceptable. The court ordered Walodersky to remove the satellite dishes and pay the trial costs.

The dispute concerned a two-storey building that is divided into four apartments. In 1996, Walodersky moved into the an apartment on the ground floor. For a decade the apartment above him was vacant, and then two years ago the son of the owner moved in.

According to the suit filed against Walodersky, there was an agreement among the residents over shared use of the yard, with each party having a private area. When the plaintiff sought to sell her apartment, she learned that Walodersky had taken over her part of the yard, fenced it off and put a satellite dish there. On the roof, he already had five other satellite dishes.

The suit also said Walodersky used to warn potential buyers about the apartment for sale, that there was too much "radiation" from the satellite dishes. Walodersky allegedly also told a religiously observant potential buyer that he barbecues on Saturday.

According to the plaintiff, Walodersky wanted to buy the apartment himself at a low price.

Walodersky said he only wanted to be straight with the religious buyer, and that the attempt to buy the apartment only happened when the plaintiff's attorney mentioned to him the place was available.

"I made an offer but it was not suitable, and that was that," Walodersky said.

The judge did not buy Walodersky's arguments and wrote that the testimonies of [potential buyers] were "very credible," and that the defendant's statements were blatant and even threatening.

The judge wrote that the defendant, in addition to taking over the yard and installing the dishes, "did everything in his power, with words and behavior, to prevent the sale of the plaintiff's apartment. This is what he did, and he was successful."

Walodersky intends to appeal the decision and had a complaint. "She never asked me to remove the antennas. If they had, I would have removed them."