Lawyer in Turkey: July 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fraudulent Sale

Usually my articles cover matters relating the purchase, sale or rental of property in Turkey, as well as a range of associated issues. However, recently I had a case where tourists appeared to have been duped by a jeweller. Because it is important that you are aware of your legal rights and options in such cases, I will discuss in this article the subject ‘fraudulent sales’.

A foreigner couple books a nice holiday to Turkey. They enjoy the holiday and they are having a great time until their day trip to Antalya ended in an attempt to con them. A visit to a jewellery store, what should have been a short stop, took rather longer then expected. After spending several hours in this store the lady gives in and they sell her jewellery and inform her that they are 18 carat gold with real brilliant stones. The price of the jewelry is € 15.000. She pays a deposit and agrees that the rest will be paid by installments. The minute she walks out of the store she already regrets her purchase, but the more when she gets home and discovers that the jewels are not worth the money and value like the seller told her in Antalya. Luckily she had kept the guarantee and receipt. When she contacts the jewellery store they were only willing to compromise on the price and would not to take the jewellery back, despite the fact that the lady no longer wanted to keep the jewellery. She wants her deposit back and wants to cancel the installments.

When there is clear defect or deficiency to a purchased good, the buyer is – as long as he cancels the sales contract – entitled to a full refund of the payment (or deposit) within 30 days. The buyer is under no obligation whatsoever to give a reason for the cancellation. The 30 days period starts once the product, in this case the jewellery, has been sold and handed over to the purchaser. The law requires that within this period of time the buyer informs the seller by a written notification of his intention to cancel the sales contract and demand the deposit back.

In case the buyer does not inform the seller on time (within 30 days), the buyer will be bound by the contract and can no longer reverse the sale. In that case it is maybe a possibility that the buyer then refers to ‘vitiated consent’ during the realization of the contract. Vitiated is covered under the General Contract Law and it covers deceit, fraud, compulsion and abuse of circumstances. Such issues, however, will remain to be proven.

If you or someone you know gets into this kind of situation, do not hesitate to take action. It is good to try to solve the issue verbally, but make sure that you are also aware of your legal rights and possibilities and make use of them when necessary.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rental agreement

To rent your apartment

Do you have a house in Turkey and most of the year it is staying empty? Then maybe it is a good option to rent and make some financial profit. Off course in this case there are some matters to be concerned about, like a good rent contract, rent tax and income tax in Turkey.

Rental agreement

Rental contracts are standard documents with standard conditions. Parties are on the other hand free to insert extra preferred conditions. Some important conditions that must be taken in to the agreement are address information, payment conditions, the lease period, the term of notice and the rent increasing. Pay attention that all inventories of  the house are also recorded in the agreement.

The rental agreement is between a tenant and a landlord. The landlord is the rightful owner of the house and can be represented by someone who is authorized to act in name of the owner, like a real estate agent. It is common that before the agreement is closed the tenant pays a deposit (a guarantee) and an advance of the lease to the landlord. This is to guarantee the lease of the house. Besides, it is also wise for the landlord to guarantee the rent payments with Senets (legal bills). For example when there is a rental contract for one year with a monthly fee of 500 Turkish Lira’s there can be 12 Senets which are undersigned by the tenant in advantage of the landlord. These Senets give insurance to the landlord in case the tenant does not pay his rent or he suddenly leaves after a couple of months. On basis of the Senets the landlord can start a collection procedure against his tenant who is in default. Be aware that you have to ask each senet back after your payment.

Rent and income tax

The Turkish tax office started in 2012 sending tax forms to submit a tax-return received rental income. Some information in this tax form is already been filled in with the information collected from several parties for example insurance companies, Tapu offices and banks. In case you do not agree with the amount that is been calculated in the received tax form letter and you receive less rent then mentioned, you have the right to object and proof the opposite. In case you give wrong information and this will be noticed by the local tax office, you risk a fine amounting the yearly tax payment amount of the last 5 years including tax. It is therefore advisable that the tenant transfers the rent to the Turkish bank account of the landlord, so this can serve as evidence for the tax authorities.

A second home in Turkey must be officially registered at the Turkish tax authority, it is a property. According to the tax system of your native country it could be possible that you have to pay rental income tax to your own country. Check it with you own country tax system, you can also show your tax payment bills from Turkey.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

New Turkish Trade Law: Website content

As per 1 July 2012 the new Turkish business law has been effective. For 50 years the old business law is being used and finally this law has been changed. With this new law there are some useful changes made that will be in benefit of international companies and the Turkish businessman.

In our article of March 8, 2012 we already summarized the most important changes that has been published in this new law.
In this article we will discuss the obliged business website. According to this new business law companies and firms are obligated to set up a business website in which they publish their company name and company information. The website must at least content information about (article 1524):
  1. All necessary documents and publications that must be openly published, such as the official name of the company that must be registered by the Chamber of Commerce, registration data at the Chamber of Commerce, Address of the head office and the capital of the company;
  2. All documents that are necessary for the shareholders of the company, so that they can represent themselves when necessary and that they are informed about their rights etc;
  3. All rights of the shareholders and managers with regard to discharge, dividing shares, sale of shares etc;
  4. Financial results;
  5. All matters about potential selling of the company, to join a joint venture and the transfer of shares in this matter, capital increasing and all related matters;
All web pages has to be freely accessible. Financial information, reports and financial control reports has to be published for at least 5 years.