An eviction commitment allows landlords to protect themselves against lengthy eviction cases. Obtaining an eviction commitment is considered the most effective solution in our legal system to deal with prolonged eviction lawsuits. In this article, we will provide a definition of the eviction commitment, examine the validity requirements of such commitments, address specific scenarios, and answer frequently asked questions on the topic.
What is an Eviction Commitment?
An eviction commitment is a written declaration by a tenant stating that he will vacate the rented property on a specified date. It is regulated under Article 352 of the Turkish Code of Obligations. According to this article, "If the tenant, has undertaken to vacate the rented property on a certain date but fails to do so, the landlord may terminate the lease agreement by applying to execution or filing a lawsuit within one month from that date." As seen in this provision, a landlord who obtains an eviction commitment from the tenant can use legal means to enforce the eviction if the property is not vacated on the specified date.
Validity Requirements of the Eviction Commitment
The Turkish Code of Obligations and precedent decisions provide a framework for the validity of eviction commitments. According to these sources, the following conditions are required:
- Eviction Commitment Must Be for Residential and Roofed Commercial Business Leases
- Eviction Commitments Must Be in Writing
- Eviction Commitment Must Be Issued After the Rent of Property
- Eviction Commitment Must Include the Eviction Date
- Legal Action Must Be Taken In One Month
A. Eviction Commitment Must Be for Residential and Roofed Commercial Business Leases
Eviction commitments can only be given for residential and roofed commercial business leases. Because the provision is under the section of the law that regulates residential and roofed business commercial leases. Therefore, in cases such as land leases, eviction commitments cannot be obtained. In a decision, the Court of Cassation clarified this issue, stating, "An eviction commitment can only be given for places subject to residential and roofed commercial lease agreements. Eviction commitments cannot be made for properties that are not subject to residential and roofed commercial lease agreements."
B. Eviction Commitment Must Be in Writing
One of the essential requirements for enforcing eviction through an agreement is that the eviction commitment must be in writing. This requirement ensures that the agreement between the parties is documented clearly and explicitly. The written document should include information about who issued the eviction commitment to whom, the commitment date, and the eviction date. It is not necessary for the document to be notarized. An eviction commitment prepared by the parties themselves is also considered valid. However, notarizing the eviction commitment can ease the burden of proof and expedite the eviction process. Also notarizing eviction commitment ensures the protection of the rights of both parties.
C. Eviction Commitment Must Be Issued After the Rent of the Property
The answer to the question of when the eviction commitment should be signed is explicitly stated in the law. According to the relevant article, the eviction commitment must be signed after the property is rented. Therefore, an eviction commitment obtained at the time of the lease agreement is considered invalid as it does not reflect the tenant's free will. On the other hand, if an eviction commitment was given blank and filled in later it is considered valid. If the tenant claims that the eviction commitment was filled in later, the tenant must prove this claim with written evidence. If there is no written evidence, the claim cannot be proven and will not be accepted by the court.
D. Eviction Commitment Must Include the Eviction Date
Another requirement for a valid eviction commitment is that the eviction date must be clearly stated in the agreement. In cases where this requirement is not met, a valid eviction commitment cannot be claimed, and the lawsuit or enforcement will be rejected.
E. Legal Action Must Be Taken In One Month
According to Article 352/1 of the Turkish Code of Obligations, the landlord must apply for execution or file a lawsuit within one month from the date specified in the eviction commitment. This condition imposed by the law is mandatory. If this period is missed, the right to request eviction based on the commitment is lost.
Validity of an Empty Eviction Commitment
One of the important elements of an eviction commitment is the specification of a date. However, in practice, it is common for the date section to be left blank when providing the eviction commitment. Although it can be argued that an empty eviction commitment will not have any effect when enforcement or legal action is taken, tenants are required to prove the situation when the landlord later fills in the document with a current date. If the situation cannot be proven with written evidence, the tenant's eviction may be ordered. According to decisions by the Court of Cassation, if the eviction commitment is left empty by the tenant and delivered to the landlord, and landlord filled it out later it is considered valid unless otherwise proven.
Application of the Evacuation Commitment in Family Residences
If the rented property is a family residence, the eviction commitment must include the signatures of both spouses. This is because, according to Article 194 of the Turkish Code of Obligations, a lease contract cannot be terminated by one of the spouses. The consent of the other spouse must be obtained or termination must be made by mutual agreement. The reason for this is that the family residence constitutes the center of all the needs of the family. Allowing such an important institution to be decided by only one spouse would be unfair and could disrupt the social structure. If the eviction commitment is submitted for enforcement and there is a claim regarding the family residence, the court may consider this issue as a pending matter, and the validity of the commitment will be determined based on the outcome.
Validity of Eviction Commitment In Case of Multiple Parties
In cases where there are multiple tenants, all tenants are considered parties to the lease agreement. Therefore, it is not sufficient for the eviction commitment to be signed by only one or a few tenants. The commitment should cover all tenants. Otherwise, the eviction will not take place.
In cases where there are multiple landlords, and if the landlords are co-owners of the property, a request for eviction can be filed with the consent of the majority of the co-owners, or if the property is owned jointly, it can be filed unanimously. If an eviction case is filed without the consent of the other co-owners, the party filing the case must obtain the consent of the co-owners.
Competent Court for the Objection to the Eviction Commitment
The tenant who faces enforcement proceedings regarding the eviction commitment may object to the proceedings within 7 days. The competent court for the annulment of the objection to the eviction commitment is the enforcement court. However, in order to go to the enforcement court, there should be no objection to the signatures and dates on the commitment. On the other hand, if the resolution of the dispute requires litigation, i.e., if the tenant claims that the signature does not belong to him or that the commitment was filled out later, the lawsuit should be filed to the court of peace.
Frequently Asked Questions
The eviction commitment is a common legal instrument in the daily lives of tenants and landlords. In legal proceedings relying on eviction commitments, the timing of actions and adherence to the legal timeframes are crucial. Missing these deadlines can eliminate the possibility of eviction based on the commitment. Therefore, to avoid any loss of rights in eviction commitment and eviction lawsuit-related issues, it is essential to carefully research legal processes and seek assistance from a rental dispute attorney in Turkey.
Inflation and the 25% rent increase limit adversely affect rental prices. As a result, landlords are suffering losses and facing significant hardships. If the necessary conditions are not met for an eviction due to non-payment of rent, other eviction reasons can be explored, or if the conditions are met, a rent determination lawsuit or a rent adjustment lawsuit can be filed.