5 Legal Obligations You Should Know About Real Estates In Turkey

With its economical and natural assets, purchasing and acquisition of real estates and flats in Turkey is becoming increasingly popular. Investing in a real estate in Turkey is both reliable and lucrative. While it is quite simple to own a real estate in Turkey, it does not come without its burdens and obligations.

In this article you will find a summary about the 5 main obligations and liabilities concerning the ownership of real estates in Turkey.

1. All real estate owners in Turkey must pay so called property tax.

This is a tax levied upon the relevant tax-payers by the municipality. The tax varies between 0,1% and 0,3% of the value of the real estate which is determined by the relevant bodies of the municipality. This tax is paid annually and the tax statements are made every 4 years. The ratios of this tax are determined according to the type of the property and the location of the property, namely whether it is within the borders of metropolitan municipalities or normal municipalities.

The payment is made in two equal installments and for delayed payments a default interest amounting to 1,4% is accrued for each month.

2. According to the Article 44 of Law on the Income of Municipalities no 2464 (“Municipality Law”), the residences, offices and the places used for other occupation which are in the boundaries of municipalities and which are given services are obliged to pay cleaning up environment tax (Article 44 of Law).

The persons who are using the buildings are liable for paying the taxes. Being a tax payer in Turkey initiates with the usage of the building. The cleaning up environment tax is determined depending on the amount of water consumption which is 24 TL cents (kurus) per a cubic meter in metropolitan municipalities and 19 TL cents (kurus) in other municipalities (2464 number of Law of Revenues Municipality, Article 44). The cleaning up environment tax which is also displayed in water bills.

3. Compulsory Earthquake Insurance is a compulsory insurance covering financial damages of an earthquake in insured buildings and their foundations (fire resulting from earthquake, explosion resulting from earthquake, landslide resulting from earthquake).

Damage is covered up to the insurance cost by TCIP (Turkish Catastrophe Insurance Pool). The aim of TCIP is to provide an adequate level of protection with affordable premiums. The maximum coverage of compulsory insurance is adjusted annually according to changes in the construction price index. If the value of a dwelling exceeds this amount, policyholders can buy additional coverage from insurance companies. The covered damages are earthquakes, fires following earthquakes, explosions following earthquakes and landslides following earthquakes.

4. As per the Turkish Condominium Law numbered 634 condominium ownership rights can be established on separate or particular parts of the property (such as a flat, or apartment, office bureau, shop or store) which are available for use or will later be put in use by the real property owner or his associated owners.

Condominiums owners are mutually responsible from both the use of their independent, additional and shared parts in compliance with the requirements, and they are to pay the utmost attention in order not to disturb each other or violate each other’s rights. Furthermore, they are legally obliged to comply with the terms of the management plan. The terms concerning the debts of the apartment owners are applied to the people who live in the independent parts or to the people having the right of residence or to the ones who take advantage of these parts continually in some way or another. Consequently, the people who do not pay their debts have joint and several liabilities upon the solidary obligation.

The vast majority of the residences in Turkey are condominiums. Condominium ownership is subject to a large array of rules right from the establishment of condominium easement (a phase preceding the actual ownership.). The most important obligations of a condominium owner can be listed as below:

  • Maintenance and protection of the main property and responsibility for damages
  • The owners of the apartment have joint and several liability in preserving the strength, beauty, and architectural design of the main landed estate.
  • One of apartment owners, without written consent of four fifth of all apartment owners, cannot have the construction, repair and facilities, exterior calcimine or painting in different colors works made in the common places of main real estate. However, if it is determined by the court that any defect in common places or facilities will damage main structure or any independent division and it should be fixed or the main structure should be strengthened immediately, said consent of building owners is not necessary to execute this repair or strengthening operation according to its project and technical requirements.
  • Each owner of the apartment, unless stated otherwise in the contract signed between all those participating equally in the payment of any staff on cleaning, security and gardening;

a) In accordance with the ratio of their land share, each owner has the obligation to pay for the insurance premiums, maintenance, preservation, amplification and repair costs of the mutual parts as well as the managers’s salary;
b) Apartment owners cannot be exempted from the costs mentioned above, nor can they be exempted from the advance payment costs of such expenses. Even if they relinquish usage of the mutual zones or facilities or claim that there is no need or necessity for them to make use of such zones and facilities, they cannot be exempt from paying for the expenses mentioned above.

  • Insurance contract – The conditions by which the main landed estate will be insured at the rate of value determined by management board can be negotiated by the board in question.
  • Guarantee of common expenses
  • Obligation to give permission for necessary works
  • Obligation to transfer the condominium ownership: Any of the apartment owners keep violating the other owners’ rights with their persistence in not paying for their debts nor complying with the terms, the other owners have the right to demand from the judge the transfer of that particular owner’s ownership rights on the independent part that he owns. Filing an action against such an apartment owner for paying the value of property of independent division at the nearest date to the resolution to him / her and transferring the ownership rights to other apartment owners proportionally with their building plot shares is possible. This is only possible if the other apartment owners agree to a majority resolution by number and building plot share, unless otherwise has been previously anticipated. If majority votes are not received then the suit is filed by the rest of the apartment owners and the judge, before s/he passes a decision, an appropriate time is given to the claimants to pay the transfer value in a three-month time deposit bank account for payment to the right owner in the future and to submit the receipt. When the document as per this payment is submitted and in case of the acceptance of law suit the judge adjudicates to transfer the ownership of independent division of respondent to claimant apartment owners in proportion to their land shares and to pay the transfer value and its accrued interest to respondent.

5. Certain cases, such as building roads, establishing a facility or a power plant, may force the government to purchase a given real estate or land owned by a private person without the consent of such person. This is generally defined as expropriation. As a principle the governmental authorities can expropriate immovable properties, sources and easement rights that are necessary to run the public services and their enterprises of which they are responsible by paying the prices of these cash or as equal installments under the conditions below:

In the expropriations concerning large energy and watering projects and residence projects, forest growth and expropriations concerning the protection of coasts and tourism; the amount of the expropriation price shown in the General Budget Law that year is paid cash and in advance. This amount cannot be less than 1/6 of the expropriation price. The remaining amount (if any) is bound to installments which are no less than the amount paid in advance and includes the accrued interest (highest interest rate applied to governmental debts) and the period for installments cannot exceed 5 years. Also with an amendment brought by the Law no 4650 on 24 April 2001 the government must have adequate allowance to begin the expropriation procedures. This provision prevents now the government from starting expropriation without paying the relevant persons the necessary amounts.

Dila GUR