Renting a Property
There are three ways to rent a house: through newspaper ads, Real Estate Agencies (check the yellow pages), or friends.
Perhaps the most straightforward way to rent a house or apartment is to use the services of a real estate agency. Most of the larger agencies (the ones advertised in the English language newspaper Turkish Daily News) are professionals and have experience dealing with foreigners and their often-unique set of needs. If your budget is modest however, you would be better off scouting out the neighbourhood that you want to live in and approaching the smaller real estate agencies (Emlakçi) in that area (they are plentiful).
It is common practice to pay a commission to the agent; however this fee is negotiable in most instances. Foreign tenants mean Dollars or Euro (and lots of it) to almost every homeowner in Turkey. If your rent will be in a foreign currency, bargain hard - if you don't have the negotiation skills, find someone who does. It will be well worth the effort and can safe you a bundle.
The following points are fair game to negotiate about:
- Price of monthly rent;
- Number of months of advance payment required;
- Currency that the rent will be paid in;
- Mode of payment;
- Amount of deposit required and whether it is in Turkish Lira or foreign currency;
- Condition of the home - request new carpet if it is soiled, or fresh paint;
- Landscaping - landlord can pay for grass to be planted, if it is new home for example;
- Appliances - included or not;light fixtures - included or not;
- Cleaning - insist landlord cover cost of having your place cleaned before you move in;
- Any repairs such as water damage or cracks in walls - landlord should cover all these costs.
A word of advice, get it all in writing, including all the landlords' promises to repair, clean and fix things in advance of your move.
Particularly if you are paying big bucks in a foreign currency, it is imperative to have a lawyer look at your contract before you sign it. Take the time, make the effort and you will be in a much better position should any misunderstanding arise.
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