What are Tenant Rights?

What happens if the lease agreement expires?

As it is known, a person may want to rent his/her residence to another person. In this case, rental agreements are made between the owner of the house and the person renting the house. These lease agreements are a binding document for both parties. In particular, the dates of the rental agreements are important in determining when the agreement will expire or whether it will be extended. Rental agreements are documents made for a certain period of time. Especially in housing and workplace rental agreements, if the duration is longer than 6 months, then the landlord cannot evacuate the tenant as he/she wishes at the end of the rental agreement. Before the expiration date of the rental agreement, the tenant may notify the owner of the house that he will leave the house 15 days in advance, if he wishes. However, if the tenant does not do such a thing, the lease agreement is extended for 1 more year. Therefore, it is seen that the tenant is protected by laws. After the contract has been extended in this way, the tenant has the right to terminate the contract, if he wishes, when the next time the lease comes to an end. After the contract begins to extend, the landlord cannot voluntarily terminate the contract and evict the tenant for 10 years. However, this situation is valid for the period that there is no dispute between the tenant and the landlord and the tenant pays the rent regularly. In other words, only the tenant has the right to terminate the lease within these 10 years. However, after 10 years, the owner of the house can terminate the contract without giving any reason and evacuate the tenant from the house.



Can the tenant ask for a discount on the rental price?


After the lease agreement between the landlord and the tenant, sometimes unexpected, extraordinary situations are encountered in life. We can give an example of this being a pandemic or an unusual situation related to housing. Especially with the pandemic, the question of whether the tenants can request a discount on the rental price from the owners has been a topic that occupies the agenda. The answer to this question is as follows; Tenants have the right to demand a discount from the landlord if the conditions that are not expected of the tenant after the rental agreement are made. If the owner of the house agrees to make a discount on the rent, the rent is then paid in the determined amount. If the landlord refuses the request for a reduction in the rental price, then the tenant has the right to file a determination lawsuit against the landlord.



How much can the rent increase be?


Rent increases are arranged every year according to the amount determined in the lease agreement. How much and how this rent increase will be is explained in Article 344 of the Turkish Code of Obligations. According to this article;


“The parties’ agreements on the rental price to be applied in the renewed rental periods, provided that they do not exceed the change rate according to the twelve-month averages in the consumer price index in the previous rental year. valid. This rule also applies to lease agreements for more than one year. If an agreement has not been made by the parties on this matter, the rental price is determined by the judge in accordance with the condition of the leased property, provided that it does not exceed the change rate according to the twelve-month averages in the consumer price index of the previous rental year. Regardless of whether an agreement has been made by the parties on this matter, the rental price to be applied in the new rental year at the end of five years or renewed after five years, the rate of change according to the twelve-month averages in the consumer price index by the judge, the condition of the leased property and at the end of every five years thereafter. It is determined in an equitable manner by taking into consideration the precedent rental prices. The rental price determined in this way in the next five years may be changed according to the principles in the previous paragraphs. If the rental amount is determined in foreign currency in the contract, provided that the provisions of the Law on the Protection of the Value of Turkish Currency No. 1567 dated 20/2/1930 are reserved,
Unless five years have passed, the rental price cannot be changed. However, the provision of Article 138 of this Law, titled “Excessive difficulty in performance”, is reserved. In the determination of the rental price after five years, the provision of the third paragraph is applied, taking into account the changes in the value of the foreign currency.”


As stated here, the annual rental price increase cannot exceed the 12-month CPI average. However, five years after the contract is signed, the parties have the right to file a lawsuit for the re-determination of the rental price.



What happens if the rent is increased by more than 25%?


With a new regulation, a maximum increase of twenty-five percent will be made in the rental price for a one-year period, regardless of the CPI rate. This regulation covers the period between 11 June 2022 and 1 July 2023. This rule applies to leases of more than one year. If rent increases exceeding this rate are invalid, the decisions to be made by the judge in accordance with the second paragraph of Article 344 are implemented. In case of an increase of more than 25% in the rental price, the tenants have the right to apply to the mediators or the magistrates’ court and get the fee they have paid back from the landlord. Thus, it is tried to prevent the exorbitant pricing received from the tenants.


Can the tenant leave the residence before the lease ends?


The tenant has the right to leave the residence before the lease ends. However, he has to notify the owner of this situation in advance. However, after the tenant leaves the real estate, the landlord has to pay the rent to the landlord for a period of time until a new tenant is found. If the tenant finds a tenant like himself instead of himself, even if the owner does not want to give the house to that person, the tenant does not have to pay the rent to be paid in that period.



What are the rights of the tenant on the deposit?


Deposit is the money or valuable paper that the tenant gives to the landlord in order to cover the cost of the damages that the lessor may suffer while the rental agreement is made. How the deposit will be given is specified in article 342 of the TCO. According to this; “If a contractual obligation to provide assurance is brought to the tenant in housing and roofed workplace rentals, this assurance cannot exceed three months’ rent. If it is decided to give money or valuable papers as security, the lessee deposits the money in a savings account and deposits the valuable papers in a bank, not to be withdrawn without the consent of the lessor. The Bank can only return the guarantees with the consent of both parties or upon the finalization of the enforcement proceedings or on the basis of a finalized court decision. If the lessor has not notified the bank in writing within three months following the expiry of the lease, that he has filed a lawsuit against the lessee regarding the lease agreement or that he has initiated proceedings through execution or bankruptcy, the bank is obliged to return the security upon the request of the lessee.

According to Article 342 of the TCO, the deposit in residences and workplaces cannot exceed three months’ rent. The most common problem, especially with the deposit, is that the landlord does not return the deposit to the tenant or makes a deduction after the tenant has vacated the property. In order for the landlord to make deductions from the deposit, the lessor must have the consent of the tenant or there must be a final court decision and enforcement proceeding. In general, if it is thought that the tenant does not consent to the deposit deductions, he can file a lawsuit claiming that there is a loss and that he wants to make a deduction, and if he proves it, he can make a deduction from the deposit. Otherwise, the landlord does not have the right to deduct from the deposit as they wish.


Likewise, when the tenant takes over the house The tenant is not responsible for the wear and tear that was previously present in the residence and does not concern the tenant, and no deduction can be made from the deposit for this reason. This situation is clearly stated in Article 334 of the TCO. According to this article;


“The tenant is obliged to return the leased property in that condition at the end of the lease agreement. However, the lessee is not responsible for wear and tear in the leased property due to use in accordance with the contract. Agreements regarding the tenant’s pre-commitment to pay any compensation other than to compensate for the damages that may arise from the use contrary to the contract, in the event of the termination of the contract, are invalid.”


As stated here, the tenant will only be held responsible for damages and deterioration in the residence due to his own use. These deteriorations must be stated to the tenant in writing when retrieving the property from the tenant. Otherwise, the tenant is freed from the responsibility of these damages in the residence. Sometimes, damages that cannot be detected despite the inspection of the dwelling must be reported to the tenant in writing as soon as they are detected, so that the necessary deductions can be made from the deposit. This issue is clearly stated in article 335 of the TCO. Accordingly ;


“The lessor is obliged to review the condition of the leased property at the time of return and immediately notify him in writing of the deficiencies and defects for which the tenant is responsible. If this notification is not made, the tenant is relieved of all liability. However, in the presence of deficiencies and defects that cannot be determined by ordinary inspection at the time of receipt, the responsibility of the tenant continues. When the lessor detects such deficiencies and defects, he must immediately notify the lessee in writing.”



What is the prohibition of arranging the lease agreement against the tenant?


As it is known, lease agreements are prepared according to the conditions determined between the tenant and the landlord. The tenant and the landlord have the right to freely determine these conditions. However, the landlord cannot make any arrangements against the tenant. This is prohibited by law. In addition, agreements to be made that the landlord will apply a penalty fee to the tenant if he does not pay the rent on time, or that the rental price will be different for the following months, is legally invalid. Such sanctions cannot be imposed on the tenant by the landlord by agreement. The law clearly protects the tenant in this regard. This is clearly stated in article 346 of the TCO. Accordingly;


“No other payment obligation can be imposed on the tenant other than the rental fee and ancillary expenses. In particular, agreements regarding the payment of a penalty clause or the subsequent lease payments are invalid if the rental fee is not paid on time.”



What are the rights of the tenant regarding common expenses and dues?


In fact, contrary to what is known in the society, the person responsible for paying the common expenses and dues of the building is the owner. However, since the tenant is using the building, the tenant himself is responsible for repairs such as cleaning and maintenance, unless there is a contrary agreement. In addition, the tenant has no responsibility for general repair costs such as elevator maintenance or roof maintenance, the owner has to cover the costs arising from this. In other words, the tenant is only responsible for the side expenses related to the house. This situation is clearly stated in article 20 of the Property Ownership Law. Accordingly;


“Unless each of the flat owners agree otherwise:


    • Concierge, heaterEqual to the expenses of the farmer, gardener and caretaker and the advance to be collected for them;
    • To the insurance premiums of the main real estate and to the maintenance, protection, expenses and repair expenses of all common places and other expenses such as the manager’s pension and the operating expenses of the joint facilities and the highest advance for the expenses land share ratio; Join run. c) The floor features cannot avoid paying this expense and advance share by giving up the right to use on the common place or loading, or by claiming the lack of need and need to make use of one of their own independent sections.”