Legals & Conveyancing

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Want to understand the legal aspects of buying a property in Turkey? Get to grips with the conveyancing process? You’re in the right place!

The Land Register Law 2012 (No 2644 of 2012) governs the sale and purchase of property in Turkey. It sets out the conditions for purchasing any category of real estate in Turkey. This includes residential property, commercial property or agricultural land.

International investors seeking to purchase property in Turkey will be subject to certain restrictions, which will vary according to nationality. It is worth checking with the Turkish embassy or consulate relating to your own country. Alternatively, contact a Turkish law firm to guide you.

Steps to Buying a property in Turkey

  • In brief, this is the sequence of events:
  • Find the property you want to buy
  • Carry out due diligence
  • Negotiate Sale/Purchase contract
  • Pay deposit of 10% to 25%
  • Final agreement signed
  • Property title transferred and new title deed issued (TAPU)

Is an inspection trip required when buying in Turkey?

It is not legally required, but it is highly recommended, even if you are only buying as an investor.

 If you are an entrepreneur or investor from abroad, we would recommend you approach an independent Turkish lawyer to assist you. They can work alongside the real estate agent and carry out a preliminary visual inspection on your behalf. Alternatively, there a number of English-speaking surveyors in Turkey who may be able to assist. This would give some peace of mind before entering into a purchase remotely.

What are the legalities of buying a property in Turkey?

Foreign buyers of Turkish property should be aware of the following key points:

  • It is highly advisable to instruct a bilingual Turkish layer to carry out the due diligence on the property. For example, checking the property for encumbrances, debts and verifying title;
  • If buying remotely or unable to visit Turkey to complete the papers, you can give a power of attorney. This can be given to their lawyer or real estate agent;
  • You must have an insurance policy in place (DASK insurance) when buying a property in Turkey. This covers material damage caused by earthquakes;
  • Stamp duty when buying a property in Turkey is 4.4% of the total value of the purchase transaction;
  • Other costs will be the land registration and notary fees, which will be approximately 1%;
  • Estate agency fees are set at 4%, 2 % payable by the purchaser and 2% by the vendor.

When making an application to the Land Registry office for transfer of ownership, the buyer and seller must
supply the following documentation:
  • Property title deeds
  • Identification documents including photos of buyer and seller
  • Statement of Property Value
  • Earthquake Insurance policy (DASK)
  • Evidence of payment for title deed and other taxes (if required)

These documents, if not in Turkish, would need to be translated.

What due diligence should be carried out?

As a foreigner, buying a property in any country has its risks. The potential language barrier, not understanding the customs of that country, required documentation and legal aspects are all potential potholes along the journey.

Consequently, it is important that you do your due diligence before entering into a purchase.  

Historically, the Turkish real estate market has had a sketchy reputation for dodgy developers and ‘sharp practice’ estate agencies. Over the last 5-10 years the industry has made great progress in cleaning up its’ reputation. That said, as a foreign buyer you do need to have your wits about you and make sure that you work with a reputable estate agent and an independent Turkish solicitor.

You want to be sure you know what you are buying. The real estate due diligence process in Turkey includes a complete report which can be analysed by your lawyer. This will allow you to confirm:

  • The planning authorisations for and registrations of the property;
  • Whether the property is subject to any debt, mortgages, charges or legal actions;
  • If there are any encumbrances, rights of way etc.

If you are looking to buy land in Turkey for development purposes, the due diligence will include checking town plans, building rules, tax obligations and environment issues.

The purchase of property in Turkey is regulated by legislation including the Law of Title Deed, Cadastral Law, Civil Code and (if relevant) Condominium Law.

What restrictions are there on buying property in Turkey?

Turkish property law does include some – thought not many – restrictions on the category and size of land which can be bought by non-Turkish citizens.

  • Foreign investors and property developers looking to buy land to develop cannot buy more than 30 hectares;
  • It is not possible to buy a property in military areas and security zones;
  • Land purchased with no immovable property on it must submit a plan for developing it within 2 years of purchasing it.

If you would like to be put in touch with one of our specialist legal partners to assist you with your purchase, please get in touch:

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