Both workplace and residential dues remaining unpaid are a common issue. Uncertainty about who will bear site or building expenses (e.g., caretaker, heating, concierge) is also prevalent. The regular amount collected to cover these expenses is called "dues." The question of whether dues will be paid by the tenant or the landlord is a topic of debate. In this article, we will examine who is responsible for dues, what can be done about non-paying tenants, who will pay the unpaid dues, and the eviction of non-paying tenants.
Who is Responsible for Dues?
The question of who is responsible for dues is answered in Article 20/1 of the Condominium Law. The article states: "Unless otherwise agreed among unit owners each unit owner is responsible for expenses related to the building's maintenance, protection, reinforcement, and repair of common areas, management fees, operation expenses of shared facilities in proportion to their land share." Therefore, although it is often believed that tenants should pay dues, dues are the responsibility of the unit owners too.
However, article 22 of the Condominium Law states that the tenant is also responsible for dues: "The unit owner and those who continuously and personally benefit from a lease agreement, habitation right, or another reason in one of the independent sections are jointly and severally liable for expenses. However, the tenant's liability is limited to the amount of rent he is obliged to pay, and the payment he makes will be deducted from his rent." So, while the tenant is responsible for dues, this liability is limited to the amount of rent they pay, and if they pay the dues in addition to the rent, the amount should be deducted from their rent. For example, if a tenant pays 3000 TL in rent and 1000 TL in dues, they can pay 2000 TL after deducting the dues.
Who pays dues if there is a provision in the lease?
If the agreement stipulates that dues are the tenant's responsibility, then the tenant is obligated to pay them. However, this liability is between only the landlord and the tenant. Lease agreements are binding only to the parties of the contract. If the tenant does not pay dues, the landlord can take legal action based on the agreement. If the lease agreement states that the tenant is responsible for dues, and the tenant does not pay them, then the landlord can file a lawsuit or initiate enforcement proceedings against the tenant. If the tenant does not pay dues, the unit owner who is responsible for unpaid dues must pay the amount due, including a 5% delay penalty. The landlord can legally take action against the tenant who does not pay dues based on the lease agreement and relevant legal provisions and demand payment of the unpaid dues.
What Can Be Done If the Tenant Doesn't Pay Dues?
When a lease agreement stipulates that the tenant is responsible for the dues, the tenant must pay the dues. According to Turkish Condominium Law, both the tenant and the landlord (property owner) are jointly responsible for the dues. As contracts bind only the parties involved, if the tenant fails to pay the dues, the landlord can resort to legal action based on the contract. If the landlord faces enforcement proceedings due to the non-payment of dues, he can claim damages from the tenant based on the contractual relationship.
If the tenant does not pay dues, the landlord is also responsible for unpaid dues including a 5% delay penalty. In this case, the landlord can take legal action against the tenant.
In case the tenant does not pay the dues, it may lead to a loss for the landlords. So, increasing the rent in such cases through a rent determination or a rent adjustment lawsuit can help the landlord to mitigate his risks. In order to avoid loss of rights in the eviction lawsuit and other problems related to the lease, it is crucial to seek legal support from a rental dispute lawyer in Turkey.