Estate Agents in Turkey – The New Regulations
The last few months have seen a bit of a watershed for the property industry in Turkey.
Not only has an amnesty on strict building controls and tax relief on materials encouraged a spurt of construction across the country over the past 12 months, there have been some pretty significant changes to regulations too.
For a start, in late 2018, the government announced anyone investing $250,000 in property could qualify for Turkish citizenship (https://www.keyholdersinternational.com/turkish-citizenship-now-more-accessible/). There has been a marked rise in overseas investment as a result, particularly for countries to the east.
However, as well as oiling the wheels of the property industry, the Government has also been cracking down on those hoping to make a quick buck at the expense of the consumer.
Earlier this month, as outlined in our previous blog (https://www.keyholdersinternational.com/property-purchase-turkey-new-regulations-non-turkish-clients/) tougher regulations came in to stifle the trend towards inflated asking prices, offering buyers better protection.
And, last week, more new regulations also came into force, aimed at weeding out the “cowboys” and laying the foundations for a more trustworthy, resilient and professional market both for domestic buyers and sellers and investors from overseas.
The new rules are as follows:
Anyone who wishes to practice as an estate agent or a rental agent must be able to produce the relevant certificate proving competency to do so. The certificates will only be issued on the completion of a specific course run by a government-accredited organisation.
Owners and employees of any new companies formed from now on will also have to produce evidence that they have competed a high school education.
Once someone has achieved their competency certificate, they will only be able to work as an owner or employee of a tax-registered agency who are members of the estate agents’ association. The owner or manager must attain Level 5 competency and staff must reach Level 4.
There is one exception; limited companies already operating in the industry are exempt from the requirement to hold a Level 5 certificate because they have already signed a responsibility agreement with Turkey’s Ministry of Trade.
Those companies which don’t hold the relevant certificates will not be able to do any conveyancing or deed transfer business. They won’t be permitted to advertise properties on the internet, put up for sale boards or open their own property websites.
Certificates are not transferrable and any company found to be operating without one will be closed down immediately. No local authority will issue permission documents needed to run a company until an estate agent or rental agent can produce the required certificates.
Also, anyone with a criminal record, or any individual or company which has previously been in receivership or gone bankrupt, will not be able to obtain a certificate.
Until now, it hasn’t been uncommon for estate agents in Turkey to have a second profession.
Agencies have been tagged on to other businesses such as construction firms, travel agents, car rental firms or even run from back-bedrooms.
The new rules stipulate that every estate agent or rental agent must now have a dedicated office measuring no smaller than 30 square metres and there must be a sign above the premises to indicate it is the sole profession operating in that office.
Employers in the industry must ensure their staff have all the relevant equipment to do the job and enough space to work in.
All estate agents and rental agents must also have a separate and secure archive space where records of transactions are kept under lock and key.
As well as the risk of being closed down immediately, those who ignore the new regulations could face stiff financial penalties with fines starting at 4,500tl (£600.00 or €698.50) for each transgression.
Estate agents in business across Turkey will be monitored by their local tax office and by the regional branch of the estate agents’ association.
Hopefully, as well as ridding the market of chancers and amateurs, the new regulations offers both buyers and sellers a real sense of confidence when it comes to dealings in the Turkish property market.
Naturally, we would like to assure our customers that Keyholders Fethiye operates with the relevant certification and is an active member of the region’s estate agents association.
As ever, we’re here if you need us to clarify any of the points above and, if there’s anything else you think we might be able to help with, why not have a browse through earlier blog posts or feel free to get in touch.
In the meantime, you may be able to find what you’re looking for on other pages of our website where you can read advice on how to obtain a Golden Visa in Portugal, how to qualify for citizenship in Turkey or to obtain a Golden Visa in Greece. Also, if you enjoyed this post and think others might find it useful, please feel free to pass it on.