The published in the Official Gazette No. 32413 of 28 December 2023, aims to regulate the procedures and principles for the rental of dwellings for touristic purposes for periods of one hundred days or less. The regulation also covers the dwellings to be rented to local or foreign persons, the applications for authorisation certificates, necessary the qualifications of the houses and the rights and obligations of the lessor and the lessee. The regulation is aimed at putting in record the daily rental practices that is preferred more and more homeowners are applying for, especially in big cities such as Istanbul, Izmir and Antalya.
The regulation, which came into force on 1 January 2024, requires property owners who want to rent out their homes for tourism purposes to obtain a permit and also introduces additional obligations that they must comply with. These obligations are listed below:
-Certificate of Approval Applications: In case property owners wish to obtain a Certificate of Approval, they must do so by submitting an application via E-Devlet. Physical applications within the scope of this regulation that are not first submitted via e-government will be returned to the applicant without being evaluated. It is stipulated that legal entities registered in the Trade Register must provide their tax identification number and trade register number or MERSIS number, and legal entities not registered in the Trade Register must provide their tax identification number. During the application process, the Regulation imposes extensive obligations to submit documents and information and also regulates the possibility of applying by proxy. In addition, applicants who submit false documents will be prosecuted under the Turkish Penal Code. Owners of flats whose applications are accepted will be issued with a special plaque, which must be displayed at the entrance to the rental flat.
-Housing Qualifications: The Regulation requires not only a permit for the use of houses for tourism purposes, but also requires that these houses have certain qualifications. Among the required qualifications are the presence of chemical fire extinguishers, smoke detectors against fire in all sections except bathrooms and toilets, and sketches showing the are escape stairs behind the doors. In addition, each bedroom will be calculated to be for two people, and a maximum capacity of two people will be on top of the number calculated based on bedroom number. Even if the number of rooms that meet these conditions is higher, it is regulated that the number of people who can stay in the same house will not be more than 12 people, at the maximum excluding children under the age of three.
-Obligations of the Authorisation Certificate Holder: The Regulation imposes a number of obligations on individuals who wish to rent out their houses for touristic purposes. The propert owner is responsible for ensuring certain qualities of the houses, regular cleaning and maintenance, and other legal obligations. Persons who rent out their accommodation through certain platforms are responsible for cleaning the accommodation in question. The licence contains the name or business name of the licence holder, the house address, the licence, date the licence number starting with the number of the province in which the dwelling is located and the maximum number of persons that can be accommodated in the dwelling. With this regulation, the house owners are subject to various obligations within the framework of the “Law on Identity Notification” and the “Law on the Protection of Personal Data”, as well as the obligations of hotels and recreational facilities. In this context, owners are obliged to keep daily records of their guests’ arrivals and departures and to make this information available to public authorities. At the same time, within the framework of the Law on the Protection of Personal Data, the responsibility of the owners to protect all this information should not be ignored.
While the Regulation stipulates that the housing must maintain a number of qualities, it also emphasises the importance of periodic inspections to be carried out by the personnel of the Provincial Directorate to be authorised by the local governorship and the reports to be prepared following these inspections. Although the Regulation sets out a general framework for the cases that require administrative sanctions to be imposed as a result of the inspections to be carried out in the houses with a permit, and states that ‘the relevant articles of the Law and this Regulation shall be applied by the governorship’, no further information on administrative sanctions is provided yet.
This regulation not only aims to raise the standards of house rented out for touristic purposes, to protect the rights of landlords and tenants and to ensure the proper functioning of the touristic sector, but also appears to be a necessary and useful step towards eliminating the informal economy and security weaknesses, with regulations such as the obligation for these establishments to pay taxes to the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Interior, and their inclusion in the identity registration system.
Gülben Aksandık, Attorney at Law