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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the tenant pay the dues?
Yes, if specified in the lease agreement, the tenant will be responsible for paying the dues. However, if the tenant has not agreed to cover such a debt, the dues will be paid by the landlord. Nevertheless, if the tenant is forced to make the payment, he can deduct the amount paid from the rent. The obligation to pay the debt while the property is vacant lies with the landlord, and after signing the lease agreement, the landlord cannot escape from all their obligations. Shortly, the landlord's responsibility for the unpaid dues continues to exist even if there is a tenant.
Who will pay the dues of the tenant who does not pay?
As a rule, dues are the responsibility of the landlord. However, the tenant may be held responsible by the building management due to the amount of dues, limited to the rent amount. In such a case, if it is not stipulated in the contract that the dues are the responsibility of the tenant, the tenant can deduct the expenses he paid from the rent amount. Therefore, the landlord pays the dues of the tenant who does not pay. If it is decided in the lease agreement between them that the tenant is responsible for the dues, the landlord can file a lawsuit against the tenant for unpaid dues and request a refund for the dues they paid.
Can a tenant who does not pay dues be evicted from the property?
A tenant who does not pay dues can be evicted from the property due to non-payment of rent. Although the tenant's primary obligation is to pay the rent, he may also have a secondary obligation to pay additional expenses in the lease agreement. In this case, the dues are considered as an attachment to the rent and must be paid on time. Therefore, if the tenant does not pay the dues, he can be evicted. However, since this subject is controversial it is important to seek legal assistance from a real estate attorney.
Is the eviction lawsuit against the tenant who does not pay dues subject to mediation?
Yes, with the law on the Amendments on the Execution and Bankruptcy Law and Other Laws No. 7445, also known as the 7th Judicial Reform Package, and the Law No. 6325 on Mediation in Civil Law Disputes, disputes arising from tenancy relationships have been included within the scope of mandatory mediation. Since the regulation will enter into force on September 1st, 2023, it will be mandatory to resort to mediation for cases filed after this date.

CONCLUSION

For any questions or legal assistance regarding this matter, you may contact us at info@paldimoglu.av.tr.

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