Real Estate

Landlords avoiding long-term lease contracts

As growing disputes between tenants and property owners show no sign of abating, landlords are increasingly preferring to lease out their homes on a short-term basis.

Their favorite potential occupants are now students who most landlords in the past simply avoided.

“Landlords want to lease out their apartments to junior and senior university students, as they are not likely to live in the flat for more than one or two years at most,” explained Rıdvan Akgün,the head of the Real Estate Association in the western province of İzmir.

The housing market and landlords’ behavior have changed, he said.

“Landlords would prefer long-term tenancy back then. They would almost never lease out their apartments to singles and students. Now, it’s changed. Singles will get married and move out soon. This is what they are thinking.”

Akgün added that there are fewer rental residential properties available in the market, which he said would lead to higher rents. He anticipates that rents will increase by 30 percent in September.

Landlords put additional conditions on the rental contracts, according to Akgün. “They want cosigners and that tenants would agree to evacuate the home when asked to do so. Another condition they seek is that the tenants’ income should be two or three times the monthly rent.”

Başak Özcan confirms what Aygün said. Özcan has been looking for an apartment to rent for almost a month. But her efforts have failed so far.

“We don’t want to move out every year. But, landlords rent their apartments mostly to students or want to sign short-term lease contracts,” she said.

There is another problem in the housing market. Potential homebuyers cannot have a chance to see the house they want to buy because the current occupants don’t let them in.

Some landlords unhappy with the 25 percent rent hike cap put up their homes for sale.

“We now have another crisis in the market,” said Ulvi Özcan, the president of the Istanbul Real Estate Brokers’ Club.

If the current tenant moves out, the rent of the new house they will find will probably be 300 percent to 500 percent higher than their current rent.

“They will also face additional costs, such as moving expenses, commissions to be paid to the real estate agents…That is why they try to prevent potential homebuyers from checking the properties,” he explained.

If the tenant refuses to let potential buyers see the house, landlords go to the courts, Özcan said. “But it takes up to one year for the courts to rule on such cases. Such court cases are becoming very common.”


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