Buying Property in Turkey- Property Lawyer
Turkish law allows foreigners (Non-Turkish citizens) to buy property in Turkey under certain conditions. Under this publication, we intend to advise foreigners how to do the legal works during the official title transfer. In this sense, we do not get into the other discussions of mostly related with property market and finance.
According to the law #2644 (“Land Registry Code), it is allowed for foreigners to buy property in Turkey. The reciprocity condition regulated under the former Art. 35 of the related code was abolished and revised by the amendments which was introduced under # 6302 . In the recent form of the Art. 35, it is seen that principle of liberalisation of the foreign investment has been adopted in a way which allows foreigners to buy properties in Turkey.
As a part of promoting foreign investment, the requirement of “military approval” for property transfers to foreigners has been removed for 16 provinces throughout the country from west to east coast. Based on the related rule practiced by the government, foreigners were normally not allowed to acquire or rent property within military forbidden zones and security zones.
2. Title of deed transfer- Property buying in Turkey
To own a property in Turkey, seller and the buyer are needed to get to a Real Estate Office (Tapu Mudurlugu) in the area where the property is located. There are 2 steps during this procedure: first the pre-sale approval and second, the actual title transfer.
There is not any difference between Turkish and Non-Turkish citizens in respect to the documentation required during the pre-sale approval procedure. However, it is important to remind that if any of the parties to the contract (Seller or Buyer) does not speak fluent Turkish, a certified Turkish interpreter is needed at the title deed transfer. That is also allowed for parties to assign legal representative with a power of attorney and authorize them to sign the papers and complete the transaction on their behalf.
a. Seeking approval from the Real Estate Office (Tapu Mudurlugu)
In order to complete the transaction , an approval by the Real Estate officer has to be ensured. For this reason, when filing an application, both parties needs to submit some set of documents and pay legal fees.
Buyer or seller (or his/her authorized representative) has to provide the following papers to the Real Estate Office:
- ID of both buyer and seller (notarized passport translation for those who is Non-Turkish citizen)
- One passport size picture for seller and two for buyer which was taken within the last 6 months
- If a representative is acting on the buyer’s or seller’s behalf, the original copy of the power of attorney.
- Property Price Statement obtained from the municipality where the target propert is located.
- Title deed of the property, or information about the district, block, plot, etc.
- Turkish tax number for the seller
- Earthquake insurance policy for the unit
b. Title transfer at the Real Estate Office
Once the public officer approves property transfer, both buyer and seller (or representatives) must be present to complete the transaction.
The seller and buyer should have agreed on the terms of the purchase price before getting to the Real Estate Office. Proxy document is needed to be issued and certified by the public notary in Turkey.
Where a legal entity is selling or buying a property in Turkey, a representative may conduct the sale procedures on behalf of the legal entity, provided that, official documents would be in need to be submitted.
c. Costs involved for property buying in Turkey
The acquisition of property takes effect only after it has been duly registered by the Real Estate Office. Right before the official contract has been signed by parties, fund has to be transferred to sellers asserted bank account. In practice, it is often a question between parties when to transfer the fund in a sense to secure the transaction. Due to the absence of a trust account during the transaction, it is strongly urged that seller has to make sure the agreed purchase price is in the bank account before actually executing the official documents.
To comply with the tax regulation, agreed sale price has to be more than market price set by relevant Municipality. Purchase price is noted over the official deed and the property transfer fee is calculated according to that amount.
As briefly referred above, buying a property in Turkey is allowed for foreigners (Non-Turkish citizens). However, in order to avoid unexpected and undesired outcomes which may cause hardship and loss, it is strongly recommended to consult a property lawyer before actually proceeding with a property purchase. A property lawyer would be able to help you carring out a due diligence over the target property and check the land registries if there is any pre-existing negative charges attached to the property. Due diligence is of utmost importance in a property investment.
For more information on Property Law or Commercial Real Estate, please feel free to contact us.