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17 April 2014, Thursday
 
 
Today's Zaman
 
 
 
 
COLUMNISTS 3 July 2012, Tuesday 9 0
0
BERK ÇEKTİR
[email protected]
BERK ÇEKTİR

Turkish property scams again

In 2005, when the first big crackdown on foreign property investors happened and the Constitutional Court annulled the 2003 bylaw to the 1934 Property Act, dramatically decreasing the number of foreigners buying land in Turkey, I wrote an article about what was happening.

People, mostly UK citizens, lost money, and some of them never took ownership of their properties or were misled about the quality of the house purchased. Following the article, I received a threatening phone call from a developer in Bodrum accusing me of meddling in the Turkish property market. I was bewildered by the suggestion. A bunch of crooks cheated people and planted doubt in the minds of future property investors and I was found guilty! Even writing these lines now, I know that I will receive a couple of nasty emails or comments.

Property scams over the past decade have put a black mark on the Turkish property market, that’s for sure. Not only individual property investors but also some professional property investors have been victims of scams in Turkey and lost money.

Turkish property scams come in many shapes and sizes. There are some extreme examples of fraud, including selling a house that does not even exist, or selling a house with a fantastic sea view but delivering a house with a view of a waste water management facility. The buyer in the latter example at least receives a house and can be considered lucky. A very common occurrence is delivering a house with defects. Even if the property deed is delivered on time, some people suffer quality problems. What is the liability of the developer for such defects?

Liability of seller for defects

The Turkish Code of Obligations contains special regulations about the defect liability of a seller deriving from the sale agreement. Furthermore, special defect liability clauses can be created by the parties. According to the Turkish Code of Obligations, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the buyer shall promptly notify the seller, before accepting the transfer of the property, about defects that are immediately noticeable. Otherwise he or she is considered to have accepted the real estate together with its defects. However, if the defect is not noticeable at once but appears only after the property has been used for a certain period, the seller’s liability covers this defect as well. Last but not least, in some cases the builder’s liability would also cover the defects.

In order to avoid any loss of rights due to time limits or other technicalities, the defect should be assessed by a court survey as soon as it is discovered. Taking pictures and recording the extent of the defect is also very important for the success of a possible case if the developer fails to rectify the defects.

Obtaining legal assistance is advisable, and the best way to gain time is to notify the developer following the court survey and let them know that the defects will be remedied at their cost and the invoice will be collected if they fail to come back and rectify the defects in a timely manner. The time to be given depends on the scale of the defect, of course.

NOTE: Berk Çektir is a licensed attorney at law and available to answer questions on the legal aspects of living in Turkey. Please kindly send inquiries to [email protected] If a sender’s letter is published, names may be disclosed unless otherwise expressly stated by the sender.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is intended to give basic legal information. You should get legal assistance from a licensed attorney at law while conducting legal transactions and not rely solely on the information in this column.

COMMENTS
To Essex couple - you deserve what you get as your English laws are even more unjust and your colonies such as Australian who abide by your English laws are also proving to be grossly unjust together with your corrupt judges who dish out injustice in western countries on a daily basis. My own mother...
jennet
in Turkey(Bodrum) group of people is deliberately committed illegal actions regarding Andreeva Ekaterina with the aim of seizing cash as well as movable and immovable property of the company Perfectum Group owned by Ekaterina Andreeva and a number of foreign partners of the company. Against Ekaterin...
Ekaterina Andreeva
We are victims of a property scam in Bitez. We and 4 other couples bought our houses in 2003. We had and still have a lawyer.Also proof that we bought our property - bank transfer and receipts, Signed purchase contract, military clearance etc... In early 2006 we discovered our deeds had been put int...
Essex Couple.
Hello, i bought a property in antalya but i havent paid for it yet. I was in antalyafor one week and the owner told me to pay him after i return back home within one week then after one week when i pay to him he will proceed my work and within one month to 45 days i will recive an answer if i was ac...
Mustafa
@Levent- Turkey's southern coast sits it the mediteranian not the western coast.
southern coast
Everybody is writing very negative about this. I agree a lot has happened but it is not all bad. There are some great building companies in turkey although i have to say mainly in the alanya antalya area. A lot of difficulties arise when people do not use commin sense. this is why corrupt building c...
bareld
Somethings never change. There are no building codes and safe building practices at all in Turkey. This is a rampant problem in all sectors unfortunately, not just in building. Look at all the fraud and death associated with these practices, not to mention the lose of money by foreigners. It all b...
Me
In Kusadasi and Cesme they have constructed ugly apartments on top of a mountain and then painted the entire building Green and in some cases they are even painted brown. You will only see this in Turkey! countries such as Libya and Syria which are classed as less influential than Turkey manage to b...
LEVENT
Turkish real estate is in complete shambles. The whole system is run by bandits, gangsters and crooked local government officials. The whole construction network is a disaster, Buildings are built very ugly with cheap materials let alone all the corruption that goes along selling these holiday homes...
LEVENT
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