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Help With Rental Process

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The realtor speaks on behalf of the owner. They had his signature, passport(non Turkish citizen) and paperwork. As he won’t be back in Turkey until later.

We went to the realtor office and signed the paperwork. 

I wanted to get the contract notarized, they said that I can get it notarized after sending payment. But I would be going to get it notarized by myself?

Does this sound normal?

Were there any steps missed? Like when do I do a walk through for prior damages seen when I looked at the apartment?

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I don't know how Turkish law treats this, but in common contract law you must have an offer, acceptance, and "consideration," which can be a payment or an act required to create the contract. So as I understand it, the advertisement is the offer, your accepting the terms is the acceptance, and your paying what's required in the contract is the consideration. That completes the contract.

There are two types of notarizations you can get. The first is the notarization of the actual contract, where both parties go to the notary and certify that the contract is valid. The notary's stamp confirms that the contract has been made. Nobody can later say the written contract isn't a legal contract made by both parties.

The second is a "notarized copy" of the contract, which is required to get a residence permit. In this case the notary makes a copy and puts their stamp on it. In this case the notary is certifying that the copy is an exact copy of the original. The notary isn't certifying the contract itself, they are certifying that the copy is an exact copy.

For a residence permit application, you would give the immigration specialist the notarized copy and keep the original.

For the walk-through, to be absolutely certain and have no disputes I would use a mobile phone to record the condition in a video. It would also be a good idea to depict, in some way, the person who is showing the apartment to you. That way, if they say something was damaged later, you'll have the video, and the person who showed you the apartment in the video. That will date it to the time of the walk-through.

The only time I had a later dispute from the walk-through was when the landlord had some shelves in the apartment. They were in such bad quality they were useless He charged us a high deposit (a big warning sign). We through the shelves away. When we moved out, the landlord insisted that the shelves were valuable, and said that since we had thrown them away, he was keeping our deposit. We had no video or photos of the shelves, so it would have been our word against his.

There's actually a way to secure the deposit. You and the landlord can open a bank account specifically for the deposit. Then you deposit the money. You can take it out of the account, I believe it's three or six months after the contract terminates, which gives the landlord time to show the bank any court action they might have filed to keep the deposit. It's an alternative to giving a cash deposit to the landlord and then depending on then to return it. For more specific questions about that, you would need to talk to somebody at a bank.

Understand I'm not a lawyer and am not qualified to give legal advice. I can only tell you what I've learned from my own education and experience.

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