Because of the recent surge in rental prices in Turkey, some landlords may request tenants to vacate their houses so that they can put someone else with a higher rent rate. So, what are the tenant’s rights and the landlord’s obligations to the tenants?
In what circumstances can the landlord order the tenant to vacate the premises? We will be looking for answers to these questions for you in this article.
Let’s start with the Tenancy Agreement.
What is a Tenancy Agreement?
As you may know, a Tenancy Agreement (also known as a Rental Contract or Rental Agreement) is an agreement that establishes the terms between the tenant and the landlord. This contract binds the tenants and property owners mutually and may only be dissolved mutually. If the parties cannot agree on anything between themselves, they may resort to resolving the dispute in court.
The tenancy agreement is automatically renewed for 1 year unless a new contract has been signed 15 days before the expiry date unless otherwise noted.
Tenant’s rights without a contract are also determined according to the Turkish Code of Obligations, even if no rental agreement has been made in the first place.
Let’s discuss the rights and obligations of a Tenant and a Landlord in Turkey and start it off with Tenant’s Rights.
What are the Tenant’s Rights in Turkey?
It is very important for the tenant to carefully go through the tenancy agreement with the landlord to prevent future disputes. The landlord cannot evict the tenant without any justification until the agreement expires.
If there are defects on the property and it is adversely affecting the tenant’s use of the house, he has the right to request the landlord to correct these defects. If the landlord does not comply, then the tenant can request a reduction in the rent.
If the tenant agrees with the landlord in writing, he can move out of the house earlier based on the notice period it was agreed upon between the 2 parties.
Apart from the rights that the tenant has, there are also some obligations that he has towards the landlord.
First of all, the tenant is obliged to pay the rent within the period specified in the contract. If this situation is not specified in the contract then the tenant is obliged to pay until the end of the month.
The tenant must pay any service expenses he or she benefits, such as central heating, building maintenance fees (also known as aydat), gas, water, electricity and other utility bills.
If the tenant wants to make any alterations to the property, written permission must be obtained from the property owner i.e. from the landlord.
The tenant is obliged to deliver the house under the conditions specified in the contract with the landlord. However, it cannot be held responsible for the old fixtures in the process.
If there is any dispute with the landlord, the tenants can open a case in the Magistrates’ Court.
What are the Landlord’s Rights in Turkey?
With the tenancy agreement, the landlord has certain obligations and rights toward the tenant. These are determined according to the terms of the tenancy agreement and legal rights.
The landlord is responsible for making the necessary renovations to his property and cannot demand payment from the tenant for those renovations.
Expenses related to the property’s insurance and taxes are borne by the landlord himself or herself unless otherwise agreed in the contract.
If the landlord receives the house from the tenant in the same condition as he first gave it to the tenant, he is obliged to return the tenant’s initial deposit. The maximum rate of increase that the landlord can make to the rent is specified in the Code of Obligations of Turkey.
If the rental price increase is not specifically stated in the contract, the increase amount should not exceed Turkey’s CPI Rate’s (i.e. consumer price index rate’s) 12-month average of the previous year. And just for your information in 2021, this rate was approximately 15.8%.
So, according to the 2021 CPI Rates, landlords could not increase the rental rates more than the CPI rate i.e. not more than 15.8%. However, the tenants have this protection only for 5 years. After 5 years have passed, the landlord can go to court and demand an increase in the rental fee, claiming that the value of his house has increased.
After the completion of 10 years of the tenancy agreement, it can be terminated by the landlord by giving a warning 3 months before each extension year. In this case, the landlord can evict the tenant unconditionally without giving any reason.