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Renting Market In Turkey

By Alejandra Pousa, 07/09/21


When I first came to Turkey I rented for a couple of years. The owners of the property were a retired couple for whom the income of this rent was crucial to their making a decent living. Some time into my first Ankara winter, the combination boiler broke down and had to be replaced. Neither the old couple nor I made enough money to be able to buy a new one. We had a very cordial meeting and decided to join forces: I would find and buy a second-hand appliance and pay for the installation while they would save money to buy a new one in a year. Both parties kept our word and, to my surprise, a year later I had a brand new top-of-the-range boiler in my kitchen. Apart from that, whenever inflation spiked or the rent lagged behind it, we had our çay and börek meeting and agreed on the figure that would keep both our necks comfortably above the water level, independently from any index in the market.

Today, with the academic year starting; the inflation brought about by the pandemic; countless couples getting married after Covid lockdowns; the ''kentsel dönüşüm'' by which old buildings at risk of collapsing are forcibly pulled down and new buildings take a year to be erected; seasonal tourism; increase in the number of refugees, Istanbul is seeing a 300% rise in rent prices -a percentage echoed by Ankara and Izmir- the above mentioned traditional Turkish goodwill seems to have left the building.

Turkish property law is a bit more lenient with the renters. When a rent contract is close to its expiration date, it can be renewed over the following years for a maximum period of 10. Prices are adjusted using the TÜFE index (consumer prices).

These days landlords want the highest prices they can get and try to escape the indexes' ceiling, which is illegal. They can then resort to a couple of tricks. The first one is informing the renter to vacate the property since he needs it for a newlywed child or an elderly parent. . He can legally assign the right of usage to members of his family but the law clearly states that, after the renter has left, the owner cannot rent the property for the following three years. The second one is suing (kira tespit davası) to get the courts to conduct an appraisal of the prices in the market/neighborhood. This will only prosper after more than 5 years of renting and, even so, owners are not aware that such proceedings take between 2 to 2.5 years to reach a sentence. On the other hand, the prices set by the judges will tend to be tolerant of the renter's economic situation.

Source: NTV

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