Lawyer in Turkey: TAPU Amendments

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

TAPU Amendments

Last year readers were told about proposed changes to the Apartments Act. One of the most significant changes involves relocating the infamous "cross' on the Tapu or property title deeds. Known as the 'change of form' (cins tahsihi), this has to take place at the Tapu office where all conveyances of land and property are registered. Many owners will already have heard plenty in recent months, despite there being many ongoing uncertainties about the details. Below we present more detail on the subject, including the latest developments.


On 28 November 2007 the Apartments Act (Kat müIkiyet Kanunu, statutory instrument number 5711) was amended and supplemented with various articles. The most important change was the obligation on the property owner to have the property (dwelling house, shop, warehouse, etc.) and its kat irtifak (right of use) changed to a dwelling house with kat mülkiyet (apartment ownership). Failure to do this would result in a fine of 1000 TL per property. Owners have to make this change within two years of the new Act coming into effect. The date for compliance was recently extended to 28 November 2009. The requirement to relocate the "cross' only applies to premises for which the Iskan has been obtained. Premises without the Iskan have a lucky escape. The costs of the conversion vary from premises to premises, depending on their individual floor area and the total buildings on the plot.

This process involves nothing more than a straightforward administrative change at the Tapu office. The change is aimed at increasing the municipality's and government's tax revenues. After all, the change will put the property in a different tax band, requiring owners to pay more property tax each year.

Whilst the rules on change of use had always existed in the Apartments Act, there was no fine for non-compliance. In the last year and a half it has become clear to the legislators that the current regulations involve too much bureaucracy and ambiguity.

In particular the Act does not assign clear responsibility for issuing fines, or indeed how and how often it can be done. Nor does the Act provide a facility for separate applications and responses for owners who cannot be contacted. Applications basically have to be submitted simultaneously for all apartments. There is uncertainty about premises without Iskan. It has also become apparent that the period of two years, within which owners have to submit their applications and relevant documentation or be liable to a fine of 1000 TL, is unachievable. Municipalities and Tapu offices alike are unable to cope with the workload. This is why, at the time of writing, the Ministry in question has recommended that the Act be amended.

May 2009 amendments to the Act

The amendments to the Act include the scrapping of the 1000 TL fine and the Tapu office application fee. The current level of bureaucracy and requisite documentation is also being rationalised. A simple application from the board of the Owners' Association for premises holding an Iskan will be sufficient for the conversion at the Tapu office. The cooperation of all individual apartment owners will no longer be required. The requirement for a DASK insurance policy (mandatory earthquake insurance) for the premises and apartments remains in force. There will also be a facility for municipalities to implement the conversion directly at the Tapu office. All the Municipality has to do is send the Iskan papers (yapı kullanim Izni) to the Tapu office and the Tapu application should be processed within 60 days.

I'll keep you posted!

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