The rental wars: Race to find accommodation in Türkiye
Come spring, this time of year is always the hardest to find a long-term rental, while doing so in the summer season is nearly impossible. This is because, in many desirable holiday locations, flat owners prefer to rent their accommodation for short terms to vacationers and at jacked-up prices. In most cases, the rent collected in the summer season alone far outweighs the steady monthly rent a homeowner would typically make for a year-round lease. This means, and all the locals in the holiday hot spots will tell you, that up until April, is sort of “now or never” in terms of renting long-term.
A landlord’s world
Couple this being the most challenging house hunting season with the new influx of people migrating to the already saturated towns along the southern coast and big cities means that housing is in high demand in these regions. There was already an influx of Russians due to the war, and many victims were forced to relocate due to the devastating earthquakes. A real estate agent in Akyaka pleaded on social media for the seasonal “Apart” homeowners to reconsider renting solely for vacationers and to open up their short-term rentals as affordable long-term housing to those displaced from the quakes. Admittedly many “Apart” residences, a term for single-unit holiday rentals with kitchens and facilities, have indeed offered up many flats to earthquake victims.
While finding something to rent is more challenging if you do find something, the prices are currently astronomical. The high demand and inflation have created a bubble. They result in rental prices being four to five times higher than last year and years prior. While yearlong renters who extend their lease for additional years are subject to a 25% hike, and commercial venues to over a 70% increase. Those with contracts over five years may be subject to rental increases equivalent to their current rent value. For those individuals, their rent may suddenly significantly multiply, up to around the 40 percentile above. Many can’t afford to pay the fee, and their flat is suddenly now worth it are having to move out or being asked to vacate so homeowners can earn what they also rightfully deserve.
The bottom line is: The pickings for rentals are slim, and what you find may come at a heavy price. In addition to the rising rental rates, a new rental condition has suddenly arisen here in Türkiye, the “yearlong” (“yıllık”) rental. Unfortunately, this is a new request landlords have the luxury of making in the country’s more high-in-demand regions. This means new tenants are asked to supply the entire year’s rent payment upfront before or after the contract is signed. Of course, renters can request shorter upfront payment terms, such as in six-month or quarterly installments, as part of the bargaining process when agreeing on the details with the landowner. Not only do renters have to pay a year upfront, but most landlords also request a deposit equal to one month’s rent. However, even these days, deposits have also inflated to as much as two to three months’ rent.
The yearly rent and what is required to sign the contract now must be discussed. When searching through housing ads, those seeking accommodation would have better luck adding the annual rent they are willing to pay into the search engine to see a true reflection of what is available. This means that if you are searching on sahibinden.com, for example, you should search for the monthly price you are willing to pay for rent and what that would amount to on a yearly basis.
Real estate agents
If you work with a real estate agent, there is also the addition of at least the equivalent of another month’s rent, plus the 18% value-added tax (“KDV”), and sometimes agents request 10% of the annual rent fee bringing the cost of their services even higher. Most housing available for rent is found through real estate agents, even on the housing website sahibinden.com, which translates to “from the owner.” But unless you specifically see the box ticked off for “sahibinden,” you will most likely be working with a real estate agent. Remember, their services rendered are beneficial. They can assist you in signing an ironclad contract that could include multiple-year agreements, which would save you from being shuffled out of your accommodation when the year ends.
Foreigners amongst us
As mentioned above, there are a vast number of foreigners currently residing in Türkiye. In January, the Ministry of Interior Migration Department announced the statistics of foreigners with resident permits in Türkiye as 1,355,153. This includes those who have received official residential status, and this does not include those who have become citizens, entered as refugees, or are here as visitors or students. The Migration Department has also shared that otherwise, there are over 5 million foreigners in Türkiye. Russians are the No. 1 nationality to top all official residence permit statistical lists.
There are now foreigners residing in every province in Türkiye, but Istanbul stands out as having the most, with over 700,000, while Antalya comes in second with over 150,000 foreign residents.
Source: Daily Sabah
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