Rental agreements do not have to adhere to a specific form or fulfil any set requirements and may simply be a verbal agreement between landlord and tenant. However, a written tenancy contract is recommended to document at least the lease term, rent and deposit amounts.
There is no set period for a long-term lease agreement and the term may be decided by the tenant and landlord. However, long-term rental contracts are usually signed for a one-year period; this is automatically renewed if neither landlord nor tenant gives notice. The tenant may terminate the lease by giving notice 15 days before the end of the lease term. There is usually a rental increase for each extended year of the term; this rate should be determined when the contract is drawn up.
A new law (the "New TCO") regarding property leases comes in to effect on 1 July 2012. It states that unless notice is given within 15 days of the renewal period the agreement is renewed for one year with the same terms and conditions. The new law also affects long-term rental agreements and termination of contracts.
The written rental contract:
Rental agreements are usually drawn up by the estate agency. In the absence of an agency, a contract template can be found online. A tenant will need to provide proof of identity and in some cases - where a tenant's proof of income is not possible - details of a guarantor may be required.
In general a rental agreement includes:
Address and details of the property
Owner's name and address and that of their agent (if applicable)
Tenant's name and address
Start date of the contract
Duration of the contract and renewal terms
Rental amount and terms of increase
Method of payment
Amount and form of the deposit
Type of accommodation (house, apartment, mixed dwelling)
Description of common areas in apartment buildings
Description of the property
The utilities included in the monthly rent
The conditions of the contract and termination
Optionally, an inventory report documenting the property and its fittings and furnishings may be drawn up when the tenant takes possession.
Costs and payments
A written lease agreement requires stamp duty to lodge it. The fee is a percentage of the annual rental cost and is usually paid by the tenant at the start of the contract.
The estate agency leasing the property charges the tenant an agency fee of 12 percent of the annual rent amount.
A deposit equal to a few month's rent is usually required; this is reimbursed when the agreement ends and any deductions have been made to cover damage caused by the tenant or unpaid utility bills.
Rent is usually due in the first few days of the month (by a date agreed in the contract). Payments may be in Turkish Lira or another currency as agreed by the tenant and the landlord (there are no restrictions under Turkish Law). However, to avoid undeclared rental income, monthly payments on residential property over 500 TL must be made by bank transfer or post office money order. The printed receipt is proof of payment.
The tenant is not obliged to take out household insurance - this is optional. However, the owner of the property must have compulsory earthquake insurance.