Real Estate

Landlords making excessive demands on potential tenants

High rents are not the only problem tenants looking for a new apartment have to deal with in Turkiye, as those who are lucky enough to find a house they can afford also need to meet several “tough” conditions imposed by landlords before they move in.

Property owners started to seek additional assurances from potential occupants last year as some tenants failed to pay their rents.

Landlords who do not want to take risks are becoming pickier when leasing out their properties. For instance, they generally prefer civil servants or those working for well-established companies, such as banks. Other private sector employees are not their favorites.

Property owners are also asking for cosigners these days and demand to see potential tenants’ credit history records and pay slips. They also want occupants to pay one year’s rent in advance.Moreover, some landlords even want to see potential tenants’ criminal records.

Most of the ads placed on real estate platforms narrow the poll of tenants and show how selective landlords are.

Some of the conditions that appear in the ads placed by landlords state, “Don’t even bother to call if you are not a teacher or civil servant,” ”No foreigners,” “Only call if your cosigner is a civil servant,” ”No crowded families,” “If you are a foreigner, one year’s rent should be paid in the U.S. dollar,” and so on.

This is a market where landlords have more powers and the upper hand, said Hakan Akdoğan, the president of the All Entrepreneur Real Estate Consultants Association (TÜGEM).

“Property owners are well aware of how high rents are compared with tenants’ income. That’s why they want to minimize the risks, making such demands,” he said.

It is nearly impossible nowadays for people to rent a house if they do not have a cosigner, according to Hakan Akçam, from an association representing realtors in Ankara.

“We managed to find a house for a client, who is a high-ranking civil servant. The landlord asked a civil servant cosigner of him and also demanded proof that he was really a civil servant,” Akçam recalled.

In some cases, when the parties meet to sign the leasing contract, landlords want to check the criminal records of both the potential tenant and the cosigner on e-Devlet, the official website offering government services, he added.

Lease contracts are subject to civil law, and landlords can demand documents such as pay slips or criminal records that prove potential tenants are trustworthy and reliable, according to Ali Güvenç Kiraz, a lawyer. “People cannot file a formal complaint if landlords make such demands.”

However, only if there is discrimination against the potential occupants, for instance, against singles and foreign citizens, landlords may get administrative fines, Kiraz said.


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