The Turkish government is taking assertive measures to address the pressing issue of escalating rental costs within the country. Their proposed bill, submitted by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) to the Parliament, intends to bring short-term rentals under tight regulation, a move that draws parallels with popular vacation rental platforms such as Airbnb.
Under these proposed regulations, landlords would be required to secure permits from the Culture and Tourism Ministry to engage in short-term rentals. In addition to the permit, homeowners would need to fulfill several other obligations, including the payment of taxes and displaying a designated sign on their property.
These measures have been deemed necessary as residents in Turkey are grappling with the challenge of finding affordable housing, particularly in the face of escalating property prices, partly attributed to persistent consumer inflation.
To mitigate the impact of these economic forces on residents, Turkey implemented a measure limiting annual rent increases to a maximum of 25%. This regulation was introduced in June of the previous year but inadvertently led to a significant uptick in legal disputes between landlords and tenants. Before this regulation, annual price hikes for existing tenants were limited to the average annual inflation rate over the preceding 12 months.
In a bid to avoid costly and protracted legal battles, many homeowners turned to short-term rentals through platforms like Airbnb. The proposed bill sets specific criteria for the classification of such rentals, designating those lasting less than 100 days as "tourism-oriented." Furthermore, the draft legislation outlines substantial penalties for landlords and real estate agents found in violation of these new regulations, with the penalty amounting to TL 100,000 ($3,600) per housing unit.
The government aims to protect residents from exorbitant rent increases while establishing a regulatory framework for short-term rentals. These regulations are expected to bring landlords and tenants into compliance with fair practices and reduce the number of disputes.
By categorizing rentals lasting less than 100 days as "tourism-oriented," the government acknowledges the growing popularity of short-term rentals, often facilitated through online platforms like Airbnb. This acknowledgment reflects an effort to create a balanced rental market that serves the interests of homeowners and tenants while curbing rent price fluctuations.
The penalty provision for non-compliance with the new regulations is substantial, signaling the government's determination to enforce these measures effectively. The financial penalties imposed on landlords and real estate agents aim to act as a deterrent, encouraging adherence to the regulatory framework.
In summary, the Turkish government's proposed bill represents a proactive approach to addressing the challenges of high rent and property prices, especially in the context of elevated consumer inflation. By imposing regulations on short-term rentals and implementing a penalty system, the government aims to stabilize the rental market and protect the rights of both landlords and tenants.