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Contract LawLease Agreement in Turkish Law

Lease agreements in Turkish Law are a common occurrence, whether for residential or commercial purposes. They are vital legal documents that outline the rights and obligations of both the lessor (owner) and the lessee (tenant). The terms of these agreements are governed by the Turkish Code of Obligations, Law no 6098, which provides a comprehensive framework for the formulation and execution of lease agreements.

This article provides a detailed understanding of the Lease Agreement in Turkish Law, offering insights into its different aspects, from tenant rights, obligations, to the conditions under which a tenant can be evicted. It is designed to serve as a guide for understanding the intricacies of lease agreements, facilitating smoother transactions for both lessors and lessees.

Lease Agreement in Turkish Law

In Turkish Law, a lease agreement refers to a contract where the lessor grants the use of a property or asset to the tenant in exchange for a rental fee. The lessor is obligated to provide the property in a suitable condition for the intended use on the agreed date, while the tenant is responsible for regular and timely payment of the rent.

Key Components of Lease Agreement

A lease agreement typically encompasses three main elements:

  1. The Leased Property: This can range from real estate properties such as residences and commercial spaces to movable assets like vehicles, clothing, or instruments. It’s important to highlight that the lessor isn’t always the owner of the property being leased but must have the ability to deliver the property in a suitable condition for its intended use on the agreed date.

  2. Rental Fee: The tenant’s primary obligation is to pay the rental fee in full and on time, as specified in the lease agreement.

  3. Mutual Declarations of Intent: For a contract to be legally binding, both parties must have congruent and well-informed declarations of intent and must have agreed upon the essential elements of the lease agreement.

Types of Lease Agreements in Turkey

Lease agreements in Turkey can be classified into three broad categories based on the type of property involved:

  1. Rental of Movables: This form of lease agreement involves the use of movable property such as motor vehicles, clothing, or instruments.

  2. Rental of Immovables: This category includes lease agreements involving real estate properties like residences, land, and workplaces.

  3. Product Leasing: A product lease agreement is established when the tenant agrees to pay a rental fee for the use and benefit of a property, in order to obtain its products.

Understanding Tenant’s Rights in Turkish Law

Tenant rights refer to the legal protections and privileges afforded to tenants under the Turkish Law of Obligations1. These rights are instrumental in balancing the relationship between the lessor and the lessee, ensuring fair and equitable dealings.

Tenant’s Rights: A Detailed Breakdown

Below are some of the basic rights that tenants have under Turkish Law:

  1. Right to Use the Leased Property: The tenant is entitled to the use and benefit of the rented property as outlined in the lease agreement.

  2. Right to a Habitable Property: The tenant has the right to demand that the leased property is delivered in a condition suitable for the purpose envisaged in the lease agreement on the agreed date3.

  3. Right to Maintenance of the Leased Property: If the leased property is used for purposes other than those intended, the lessor has the right to terminate the lease agreement.

  4. Right Against Unjust Rent Increase: The tenant has the right to reject any rent increase requests that exceed the legally determined rate.

  5. Right to Stay in the Leased Property: The tenant cannot be evicted from the leased property without a just cause before the completion of the agreed lease term.

  6. Right to Repair and Deduct: If the property requires necessary repairs, the tenant has the right to carry out the repairs and deduct the expenses from the rent.

  7. Right to Retrieve Deposit: If the tenant provides a deposit as security, they are entitled to retrieve it if there is no damage to the leased property upon termination of the lease agreement.

  8. Right to Annotate the Lease Agreement: The tenant has the right to have the lease agreement annotated in the land registry. By doing this, the tenant secures their legal rights against third parties.

Rights of Tenants After Lease Contract Expiry

A common misconception is that the tenant is required to vacate the property once the lease agreement expires. However, this is not the case. In Turkey, lease agreements are typically drafted for a duration of 1 year. At the end of this period, the contract automatically extends for another year under the same terms, unless the tenant decides to terminate the lease agreement.

The right to terminate the contract at the end of the term lies solely with the tenant. The tenant can decide to terminate the lease agreement at the end of the 1-year lease term and communicate this decision to the landlord. However, the landlord does not possess this right. In other words, tenants’ rights remain intact even after the lease period expires.

Tenant Rights in Case of Property Ownership Change

The transfer of property ownership does not automatically terminate the existing lease agreement. The new owner becomes a party to the existing lease agreement, and the change in ownership does not directly impact the tenant’s rights. This implies that the tenant is not obligated to vacate the property upon a change of ownership, unless other conditions stipulated by law are met.

the Eviction Process in Turkish Law

Eviction refers to the legal process through which a tenant is removed from the leased property. However, eviction can only occur under specific circumstances as outlined by the Turkish Code of Obligations. These circumstances may include non-payment of rent, significant property damage, or violation of the lease agreement.

Grounds for Eviction

In Turkish Law, the grounds for eviction of a tenant are specifically outlined in the Turkish Code of Obligations. They include:

  1. Non-payment of Rent: The landlord can initiate eviction proceedings against the tenant if the rent is delayed for two months within the same year.

  2. Presence of an Eviction Commitment: If the tenant has undertaken in writing to vacate the leased property on a certain date, but has not vacated the leased property, the landlord may terminate the lease agreement.

  3. Owner’s Need for the Property: The landlord can file an eviction lawsuit if they or their relatives need the property for housing or business purposes.

  4. Renovation of the Property: If the property requires substantial renovation, the landlord can initiate an eviction lawsuit.

  5. Nuisance to Neighbors: If the tenant causes significant disturbance to the neighbors, the landlord has the right to terminate the lease agreement.

  6. Presence of a Property Owned by the Tenant: If the tenant or their spouse owns another house within the same district or municipality, the eviction of the tenant can be requested.

  7. Bankruptcy of the Tenant: The bankruptcy of the tenant leads to automatic termination of the lease agreement.

  8. Expiration of 10 Years: In lease agreements exceeding 10 years, the landlord can terminate the lease agreement by providing notice at least three months before the end of each extension year.

Eviction Process

The eviction process is a legal procedure that requires the landlord to file a lawsuit in the Civil Courts of Peace. It is important to note that the tenant cannot be evicted without a court order. The eviction process can be both time-consuming and stressful for all parties involved, hence it is advisable to engage the services of a professional Lease Agreement Lawyer to handle the proceedings.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1: What is a Lease Agreement in Turkish Law?

A: A lease agreement in Turkish Law is a contract where the lessor (owner) grants the use of a property or asset to the tenant (lessee) in exchange for the payment of rent. The lessor must provide the property in a suitable condition for the intended use on the agreed date, while the tenant is obligated to pay rent.

Q2: What are the key components of a Lease Agreement?

A: A lease agreement usually consists of three key components: the subject of the lease, the rental fee, and mutual declarations of intent by the parties involved.

Q3: What types of Lease Agreements exist in Turkey?

A: Lease agreements in Turkey can be classified into three broad categories based on the type of property involved: Rental of Movables, Rental of Immovables, and Product Leasing.

Q4: What are the basic rights of a tenant in Turkey?

A: Tenant rights in Turkey include the right to use and benefit from the rented property, the right to a habitable property, the right against unjust rent increase, and the right to stay in the leased property, among others.

Q5: What happens when the lease contract expires?

A: At the end of a lease period, the contract automatically extends for another year under the same terms unless the tenant decides to terminate the lease agreement. The tenant has the right to terminate the contract at the end of the lease term, but the landlord does not possess this right.

Conclusion

Lease agreements in Turkish Law are intricate legal documents that require a comprehensive understanding to ensure the rights and obligations of all parties involved are upheld. The tenant and the landlord should be fully aware of their rights and responsibilities before entering into a lease agreement to avoid potential disputes in the future.

Lease agreements, tenant rights, and eviction processes can be complex, highlighting the need for professional legal help. At İstanbul Law Office, we have a team of experienced Contract Lawyers in İstanbul, who can guide you through the intricacies of lease agreements, ensuring that your rights are protected. Our English speaking lawyers in İstanbul are always ready to assist you with any concerns related to lease agreements and tenant rights.

The complexities of Lease Agreement in Turkish Law underline the importance of seeking legal expertise. Our team of attorneys at İstanbul Law Office are well-versed in the intricacies of Turkish Law and can assist clients without them needing to come to Turkey. We invite you to reach out to us for any queries or concerns related to Lease Agreement in Turkish Law.