25. Turkish Short-Term Rentals New Regulations

Big Change for Short-Term Rentals Regulations

On October 10, 2023, Turkey introduced a new bill in Parliament, and it’s all about short-term rentals. If you’re a landlord renting out your place for less than 100 days at a time, this affects you.

What’s the Deal?

Well, under this new law for short-term rentals, you’ll need to get a special permit from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to keep renting your property. Plus, you’ve got to pay taxes, show a sign outside your place, and, yep, there’s a fee involved too.

Who’s Covered?

This is all about renting residential properties in Turkey for tourists. If your rental lasts for more than 100 days in a single contract, you’re in the clear.

Key Definitions

Just so we’re on the same page, here are some terms you need to know:

  1. Tourism Rental: That’s when you rent your place to individuals or companies for up to 100 days.
  2. Rental Permit: It’s the official go-ahead from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to rent your place for up to 100 days.
  3. Permit Holder: That’s you, the person or company who gets the permit and rents out the place.
  4. Landlord: That’s the one who owns the property and rents it out.
  5. Tenant: The person or company renting from the landlord.

Getting a Permit For Short-Term Rentals

To rent your place for under 100 days, you need that permit from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Here’s what it takes:

  1. Everyone in the building needs to agree to your permit. In buildings with more than three units, only 25% can be permitted per owner.
  2. You can’t have permits for more than five units in the same building. If you want more, you’ll need a business license and approval from all the other building owners.
  3. You’re the one responsible for getting that permit. If you’re using an agent, they must be a Group A agency licensed under the Travel Agencies Law.
  4. If you pass away or if a corporate permit holder is no more, the permit expires in three months unless it’s transferred to heirs or a new owner.
  5. Renting out your place to third parties or using a rented residence permit for tourism rentals is a no-go, except for companies renting for their employees.

Permit Holder’s Duties

Now, as a permit holder, you’ve got some responsibilities:

  1. You need to put up that permit plaque at your place’s entrance, given by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
  2. You’re the one responsible for reporting tenants under the Identity Reporting Law.
  3. When you advertise your place online, you can’t exaggerate about its location, features, or promised conditions.
  4. You’ve got to hand over the place according to your rental agreement, and if you don’t, you have to refund the money.
  5. If there are changes in ownership, like through inheritance or legal transactions, you’ve got 30 days to report it.
  6. You also need to prove you paid the tourism tax under the Turkish Tourism Promotion and Development Agency Law within the set time.

Responsibilities of Online Platforms

If you’re using online platforms to rent out your place, they’ve got some duties too:

  1. They can’t let you advertise your place if you don’t have a valid rental permit.
  2. They have to follow orders to take down listings that break the rules. If they don’t, they can get fined.
  3. These platforms are seen as intermediary service providers under the E-Commerce Law, and they can be fined for each unpermitted listing they allow.
  4. They have to take down or disable access to listings if a criminal judge tells them to, but they can challenge those orders.

Penalties for Breaking the Rules

If you don’t follow these rules for short-term rentals, there are fines and penalties waiting for you:

  1. Renting without a permit, subletting without permission, or acting as a broker without a permit can cost you 100,000 Turkish Lira in fines.
  2. If you keep renting without a permit after that, it’ll be a 500,000 Turkish Lira fine.
  3. Online platforms can be fined 100,000 Turkish Lira for each listing without a permit.
  4. False advertising can set you back up to 100,000 Turkish Lira, or up to 500,000 Turkish Lira if you don’t provide the services you promised.
  5. Forget to display your permit plaque, and it’s a 100,000 Turkish Lira fine. If you keep forgetting, that goes up to 500,000 Turkish Lira.
  6. For persistent rule-breakers or those with excessive contracts over 100 days, you might be looking at a fine of 1,000,000 Turkish Lira.
  7. If you really mess up, your permit can be revoked. But don’t worry, they’ll protect any bookings you’ve got.

Tax Time for Short-Term Rentals

When it comes to taxes, for short-term rentals in Turkey, it’s not considered rental income; it’s commercial income. That means you can deduct depreciation expenses for fixtures according to the Tax Procedure Law.

Also, there’s a 20% VAT rate for daily or weekly accommodation services in private properties. So, you need to keep a record of all your guests and send out invoices within a week of providing the service.

You can also claim depreciation for the equipment and fixtures you use, as long as they line up with their useful life as per the Tax Procedure Law.

What to Do Next

If you’re already renting your place out in Turkey, here’s what you should do:

  1. Apply for a permit within a month of this new law coming into effect. After three months, unpermitted rentals will be banned.
  2. Make sure you’re not going over the limit on how many units you’re allowed to rent in one building.
  3. Once you get that permit, put up the plaque and let the online platforms know you’re in compliance for short-term rentals in Turkey.
  4. If you’re finding it tough to meet the permit requirements on your own, think about working with licensed Group A travel agencies for short-term rentals.

So there you have it, everything you need to know in everyday talk about the new rules for short-term rentals in Turkey. Stay informed and keep things legit!