Tips and advice for purchasing in Turkey
Legal title generally
Whilst now could be a one of the best times to invest in well located prime Turkish property, there is still a lot of property carrying legal problems. You will need to be sure your property was built with the correct planning permission, that you will take good title and have full ownership rights. It is common to find property built or extended illegally.
However, by appointing a specialist independent lawyer there’s no reason why purchasing in Turkey shouldn’t be as safe as buying back at home.
Under declaration of price
As with a number of other countries, it is common in Turkey for Sellers to ask you to register a lower value in the title deed than the actual price you are paying. In Turkey, the differences between the two can be quite substantial and may have far-reaching consequences if you agree to it. Again, your lawyers should be able to advise you on the risks involved and how best to manage them.
If you intend to buy your Turkish property in your personal name/s, you should also be aware you will need to be granted official permission to own the property before title can be transferred to you. The permission is processed by the Aegean Army and often referred to as ‘Military Permission’. Depending on where you are buying, this may take a number of weeks or months to process and needs to be considered when agreeing your payment plan with the Seller. Your contract should ensure you are protected if, for whatever reason, your permission is not granted.
You will need to obtain tax numbers from the Turkish tax office in order to complete your purchase and for ongoing use in Turkey. If you have time, have a go at applying for it yourself. It is a gentle introduction to dealing with Turkish officialdom. If you cannot, do not worry, your lawyers can sort this out for you.
Surveys and valuations
You would not buy a property here at home without carrying out at least a basic survey. It should be no different when buying abroad. The issue in Turkey is that there is no established profession equivalent to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. In order to obtain a similar service, you should instruct local professionals with a civil engineering background. Your lawyers or other professional advisers should be able to arrange this on your behalf or refer you to specialists.
Quality of finishes and lists of what fixtures and furniture is included
Inadequate building specifications and inventories are commonplace.
Arranging for your lawyers to negotiate agreements to an international standard should minimise the risk any misunderstanding and disappointment.
Know where you stand with Capital Gains Tax
You will often be told by Turkish sellers that you are not liable to tax when you come to sell and make a profit having owned your property for a minimum period. This is true, but not the whole truth. Take professional advice so that you know what the position actually is.
Appoint an Accountant
Consider appointing a local professional such as an accountant to act as your postbox in Turkey to ensure you keep up to date with completing and filing your Turkish paperwork.
This information has been kindly provided by Peter Esders of Judicare – E-Mail: [email protected] and quote SLC/LSP