Property Buying Guide in Turkey for British Citizens
This guide sets out essential information for British nationals wanting to buy property in Turkey, including advice on legal advice, fraud, residence requirements, complaints and more. We are unable to provide any guidance on individual property purchases apart from the information and links listed below. See our information on what consulates can and can not do for British nationals.
The procedures and legislation covering the purchase of property in Turkey differs from that in the United Kingdom and the safeguards that you may rely on in the UK may not exist in Turkey. Foreigners require military permission before being able to purchase property. This can cause a delay in the whole process and you should allow a period of 3 to 5 weeks, though in individual cases the time can be shorter or longer. There is no way around this requirement and attempts to circumvent the process can lead to financial loss and you may still not get the property you wanted to purchase. You are strongly recommended to obtain the services of an experienced Real Estate Agent before committing yourself to purchasing property or paying a deposit or the property’s full costs.
There are a number of Turkish banks offering mortgages to foreign nationals wishing to buy property in Turkey. Loan proportions, interest rates and requirements may vary for individual banks. We recommend contacting several banks before making your decision.
British nationals are taxed in Turkey on income obtained from renting property in Turkey and are liable to a number of other property related taxes outlined below. The tax year in Turkey is the calendar year.
There is an agreement (DTA) between the UK and Northern Ireland and The Republic of Turkey for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and capital gains.
Taxes payable when purchasing / selling a property in Turkey:
Turkish Property Transfer taxes (Emlak Alim/Satim Vergisi) @ 3% (in 2018) are payable by both parties (the buyer and the seller) the sale of a property. These fees (i.e. 3% in total) are based on the declared value of the property. However, the declared value of the property cannot be lower than the ‘tax value’ determined by the local municipality, which is also used as the base of the local property tax.
Rental income taxes:
If you rent your property to an individual or a company you have to file a tax return for your rental income for the previous calendar year to the nearest Tax Office between 1 – 25 March. The taxes are payable in 2 equal instalments –the first in March, the second in July.
Council Tax (Emlak Vergisi)
Local Property Tax is payable in 2 equal instalments, the first in May and the second in November. You have to contact your local municipality (Belediye) for further information and payment options. Tax is calculated based on the value of the property and is subject to thresholds set by the Tax Authorities as follows: For real estate located outside of a metropolitan municipality area:
Other buildings 0.2%
Farming land 0%
Vacant land (but allocated for construction purposes) 0.3%
For real estate located inside of a metropolitan municipality area:
Other buildings 0.4%
Vacant land (but allocated for construction purposes) 0.6%
Visa / Residence Permit Requirements
Having a residence permit is not necessary for the foreigner who wishes to buy a property in Turkey. Likewise, buying a property does not grant the foreigner permission to obtain a residence or work permit in Turkey. However, anyone wishing to buy property in Turkey who does not hold a residence permit needs to obtain their Foreigner Identity number (Yabanci Kimlik No.) from the TNP Foreigners’ Department in the nearest city (not local town)in order to proceed with the property purchase. This service is free of charge.
Buying Property in Certain Areas
a) Persons with foreign nationality can buy maximum 30 hectares of property in Turkey in total and can acquire limited in rem right.
b) Foreigners cannot own property within military forbidden zones and security zones.
c) Persons with foreign nationality can acquire property or limited in rem right in a district/town up to 10 % of the total area of the said district/town.
d) Legal restrictions do not apply in setting mortgage for real persons and commercial companies having legal personality which are established in foreign countries.
e) The properties are subject to winding up provisions in following cases: (i) if the properties are acquired in violation of laws; ii) if the relevant Ministries and administrations identify that the properties are used in violation of purpose of purchase; iii) if the foreigner does not apply to the relevant Ministry within time in case the property is acquired with a project commitment; iv) if the projects are not materialized within time.
Renting out your property
Everyone has the right to rent their property with the understanding that a contract is signed between the landlord and tenant. If the property is used for accommodation the landlord has to pay income tax as explained above. If the property is used for business purposes the landlord should make sure that the tenant is paying the Stoppage Tax (Stopaj vergisi).
According to the Turkish laws and regulations in force, transfer of ownership of a property is only possible at the Land Registry Directorates (TAPU DAIRESI). There are two types of deeds in Turkey; one is the land deed and the other is the proper title deed which you can obtain once you have your habitation certificate. Obtaining the habitation certificate is very complicated and time consuming. Therefore, prospective buyers should consider possible challenges before buying a property without habitation certificate. Habitation certificates are issued by local municipalities.