Rental Law in Turkey: 12 things you need to know

Most of the  foreigners living in Istanbul need to rent their house or room. Surely, there are many questions before and after signing a rental contract with the landlord. Here are 12 things you need to know about the landlord-tenant law in Turkey.

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  1. Do sign a contract.A verbal contract is also valid but when the time to discuss about the terms comes, having a contract in written form always helps.

  2. Try to have a translated version of the contract. If the landlord (or the real estate agent) doesn’t do it, make it done from legal interpreter offices. It is costly but it helps you to check your contract quickly when you need it.
  3. If you rent your place with furniture, ask your landlord to make a list of all the furniture items and add it as appendix to your contract. It is advised that you take the furniture’s photos before you start using any item. It will help you to prevent any landlord’s possible claim about misuse of the furniture while you are using it.

  4. If there is any problem in the house, also ask  the landlord (or the real estate agent) to mention it in the contract with the same reason.

  5. Any problem not caused by the tenant can be the reason for the tenant to ask the landlord to fix it, to apply a discount on the rent or to terminate the contract. These options depend on the problem and the tenant is free to choose one.

  6. Tenant should pay for the maintenance of the apartment. Even though you live on the first floor, you should contribute to the expenses for fixing the elevator.

  7. Tenant should respect the rules of the apartment. The neighbors and landlord should respect the tenant’s quiet enjoyment. It also includes private life of the tenant. Any term in the contract, which restricts private life of the tenant (no boyfriend, no girlfriend) is against the law and therefore not valid.

  8. As tenant, you can have a sublease agreement with sublease, only with the landlord’s permission in written form. Especially when you rent a room, ask the person renting you the place if he/she is the landlord or another tenant. If he/she is also a tenant, ask for the permission of the landlord for sublease.

  9. As a tenant, if you are moving out, you need to let the landlord show the house to possible new tenants.
  10. If the residence is for the family (husband and wife), the spouse who is the party of the rental contract, cannot terminate it without the permission of the other.

  11. As a tenant, you have the right to terminate the contract at the end of the rental period. But the landlord cannot ask for eviction with the sole reason of the end of the rental period.

  12. Of course,the landlord can ask the tenant to leave the house. If the Rental agreement’s duration lasted 10 years, the landlord may ask the tenant to leave the house without a reason. If there will be a reconstruction in the residence, if the landlord or his family members need to use the residence, if the tenant misused the residence, if the tenant doesn’t pay the rent and the landlord sends notice two times in order to get the payment in a rental year, the landlord may ask the peace court to evict the tenant. The Court will investigate the claim of the landlord and rule accordingly. 

    Written by Av. Kamil Kıvanç ÖZDEMİR