People fulfill their housing needs either as homeowners or as tenants. With the disturbance in economic balances, rent determination lawsuits, rent adjustment lawsuits, and evicting the tenant have recently become topics of great concern. In this article, we will discuss the eviction of a tenant, examine the legal rules for evicting a tenant, and provide answers to frequently asked questions.
Tenant Eviction in Turkey
The need for tenant eviction arises when the expectations of the parties do not align with each other. The landlord can evict the tenant through legal means only if certain conditions specified in the eviction laws in Turkey are met. Turkish Code of Obligations (TCO) regulates this issue in two categories: eviction originating from the landlord and eviction originating from the tenant.
Eviction Originating from the Landlord
Tenant eviction in Turkey due to reasons originating from the landlord is divided into two main headings in the TCO. The first one is eviction due to necessity, reconstruction, and urban renewal, while the other is eviction due to the need of the new owner.
1. Eviction due to Necessity, Reconstruction, and Urban Renewal
Tenant eviction in Turkey due to necessity and eviction by renovation are regulated in Article 350 of the TCO. According to this article, if there is an obligation to use the rented property for himself, his wife, descendants, ascendant, or other persons he is obliged to care for by law he can terminate the contract. The subject of the lease agreement must be a residence or a commercial place, and the necessity must be genuine and compelling.
In cases where the rented property is unusable due to the need for its reconstruction or urban renewal, the landlord can terminate the lease through litigation.
For the termination of lease agreements in residential rentals based on the reasons, the landlord must comply with the notice period for eviction, also known as the termination notification period. Additionally, the landlord must file an eviction lawsuit within one month from the end of the contract term.
2. Eviction due to the Need for the New Owner
In cases where the rented property changes hands, the new owner is granted the possibility to evict the tenant. In this situation, in order to protect the interests of the new owner, certain conditions must be met for the tenant eviction to take place. This method, regulated in Article 351 of the TCO, allows the new owner to demand eviction of the tenant in Turkey if a mandatory need arises for themselves, their spouse, descendants, ascendants, or persons they are legally obliged to support. Again, the necessity must be genuine and compelling. To use this reason for tenant eviction, the new owner must inform the tenant about the situation within one month from the date of acquiring the property and provide a six-month notice period. After this period, an eviction lawsuit can be filed. However, if there is less than six months left until the end of the lease agreement, there is no need to wait beyond the end of the contract.
3. Eviction through Eviction Notice
In order for the landlord to evict the tenant in Turkey without stating any reason after the expiration of the lease period, ten years must pass from the expiration date of the lease agreement. After this period, the landlord can terminate the contract and evict the tenant by giving a termination notice three months before the end of each subsequent year.
Eviction Originating from the Tenant
The landlord can terminate the lease agreement based on reasons originating from the tenant. These reasons include the tenant's commitment to vacate the property, failure to pay the rent, and the tenant's or his spouse's owning another property.
1. Tenant's Commitment to Vacate the Property
If the tenant has provided a written commitment to vacate the property on a specific date, the landlord can request the tenant's eviction based on this document. It is essential that the eviction commitment be in writing and that the date of the commitment is not the same as the date of the lease agreement. Otherwise, the tenant cannot be evicted based on this commitment. The landlord can initiate execution or a lawsuit against the tenant within one month from the date specified in the commitment to vacate.
2. Failure to Pay Rent or Paying Rent in Full
a. Eviction due to execution proceeding
One of the ways to evict the tenant in Turkey is if the tenant fails to pay the rent or pay it in full. In such a case, the landlord can start an execution proceeding for the outstanding amount by giving the tenant a minimum of 30 days for payment, as regulated in Article 315 of the TCO, regarding the tenant's default. If the tenant does not pay within this period and does not raise an objection, eviction can be enforced.
b. Eviction due to two justified notice
If the tenant has caused two justified notices to be issued within one lease year, the landlord can request the termination of the contract and the eviction of the tenant according to the rule of eviction due to two justified notices. For rental agreements lasting less than one year, the notices must be provided during the rental period; for rental agreements lasting one year or more, the notices must be given within one year or beyond that period. The notices must be made in writing, preferably through a notary, or an execution proceeding must have been initiated for the unpaid amount. In this case, the landlord can terminate the lease through a lawsuit within one month from the end of the rental period or one year, depending on the duration of the rental agreement.
3. Eviction due to the Tenant Owning Another Property
According to Article 352 of the TCO, if the tenant or his spouse has a suitable residence within the boundaries of the same district or municipality, the landlord can terminate the lease through a lawsuit within one month from the end of the lease agreement if they were unaware of this situation when the contract was signed. It is crucial that the property owned by the tenant or his spouse qualifies as a residential property. If the property is not a residential property and has a different nature, such as a commercial place or land, this regulation does not apply. This provision aims to prevent the tenant from engaging in opportunistic behavior.
4. Eviction due to Violation of the Liability of Diligent Use and Respect for Neighbors
The tenant must use the rented property diligently for its intended purpose. Failure to do so may lead to tenant eviction in Turkey and liabilities against the tenant. Additionally, the tenant must show respect to neighbors. If the tenant continuously disturbs the neighbors or fails to use the rented property diligently, the landlord can grant the tenant a 30-day period to rectify the situation. If the violation is not remedied within this period, the tenant may be evicted. In cases where the tenant intentionally inflicts significant damage to the rented property, the given period may be considered futile, or the tenant's behavior may become intolerable for the landlord or other occupants of the property, there is no need to grant a period; the contract can be terminated immediately with written notice.
How is a commercial tenant evicted in Turkey?
Just like residential leases, a commercial tenant is evicted based on reasons specified in the law. However, it is important to note that the grounds for eviction in a commercial setting are more limited. For example, a commercial tenant cannot be evicted on the grounds of having another residence. On the other hand, the Court of Cassation has imposed stricter conditions for evicting a commercial tenant due to the need for the business premises. Among these conditions, the suitability of the requested eviction location for conducting the business stated as the reason for eviction, or the landlord being under the threat of eviction from where he rented for doing business, can be counted.
The reasons for the eviction of a commercial tenant are divided into those arising from the tenant and those arising from the landlord. The landlord can resort to reasons arising from their own circumstances such as necessity, reconstruction, and urban planning, just as the tenant-related issues like breach of eviction commitment, non-payment of rent, and non-compliant use according to the lease agreement.
Frequently Asked Questions
In a rental relationship, there are landlords who seek to receive returns on their investments and tenants who aim to find peaceful housing. However, disputes may arise, especially due to economic imbalances or changing needs. To evict a tenant, the landlord must have a valid reason based on the reasons specified in the law. These reasons are generally categorized as originating from the tenant or from the landlord. Rental law is quite complex and should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine the eviction reason accordingly. Unfortunately, incorrect solutions can lead to long-term grievances and financial losses for the parties involved. Therefore, in cases concerning tenant eviction in Turkey, great care should be taken to avoid any loss of rights, and seeking advice from a real estate law firm in Turkey is essential.