New Regulations for Short-Term Rentals in Istanbul

Written by Esra Küçük.

This article was published on 01 Mar 2024

The short term rental market, aka the Airbnb market, in Istanbul has boomed in popularity despite the fact that it has been forbidden since its inception. In response to great demand, the Turkish government has drawn up legislation to ensure all parties are offered greater protection.

This market has been heavily used as a marketing strategy in International property sales, inferring large rental returns via the short term market. It does seem attractive to the potential buyer, as the ordinary long term rental market is tricky at the best of times. This is due to laws heavily skewed in favour of the tenant and limiting annual rental increase to 25% despite inflation running greater than 70%. Thus the short term market offers solutions to these negative factors.

The new law coming into force on Jan 1 should be considered in detail before entering into a purchase which uses Airbnb as a selling factor. Not all property can be used in the short term market, even if marketing material claims otherwise.

Note: the short term market is defined as any rental shorter than 100 days.

Here are the new regulations.

  1. Application Process
    • Hosts are now required to submit a Ruhsat Başvuru Formu (License Application Form) to initiate the licensing process. This form serves as the primary document for obtaining the necessary approvals from local authorities.
  2. Property Documentation
    • A copy of the tapu (property title deed) from the last three months, certified to confirm no recent changes.
    • An offical address document.
    • İskan Belgesi (Occupancy Permit).
  3. Safety Measures
    • A purchase invoice for a CE-certified fire extinguisher.
    • Yangın Raporu Belgesi – Fire Report Document.
  4. Residency and Health Documentation
    • İkametgah Belgesi – Residency Certificate for the owner.
    • Çalışma Sağlık Karnesi – Work Health Certificate.
    • Adli Sicil Kaydı – Criminal Record Certificate.
  5. Corporate Requirements of the operating agent (if used by the owner)
    • For companies, the submission of an İmza Sirküsü (signature circulars), Ticaret Sicil Gazetesi (official newspaper corporate notification), and Şirket Ana Sözleşmesi (Memorandum).
  6. Personal Identification of any people working for the agent.
    • Submission of three copies of personal identification (Kimlik Fotokopisi) and three biometric photographs is required.
  7. Consent from others.
    • The apartment owner for the property must obtain a signed consent from each and every other apartment owner. Even if one individual objects, the apartment cannot be used in the short term market.
  8. Settlement plan and permanent sign
    • The apartment must display the property layout and surrounding area.
    • A sign must be installed at the entrance of the property confirming its status and contact details for emergency situations.

These new regulations represent a significant step towards ensuring the legality, safety, and transparency of short-term rentals in Turkey. Hosts and property owners must familiarize themselves with these requirements and initiate the application process promptly to operate within the bounds of the law. Failure to adhere to these new rules will likely end up in a heavy fine. As of 2023, the fine for operating in the short term rental market was up to 100,000 lira.

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D Koray Dillioglu
CEO @ Pera Property