Legal rights of the foreigners who have bought defective property in Turkey.

legal rights of the foreigners who buy property in Turkey
property in Turkey

Every year a growing number of foreigners buy real estate in Turkey. Many of them buy housing in new projects directly from the developer.

In this article we will discuss, what legal problems may foreigners encounter when buying property in Turkey directly from the construction company.

Turkish law system has accepted the European Parliament's agreement on the sale of consumer goods and the directive on 25.05.1999 No. 1999/44/EC on "certain aspects of the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees" as well the Consumer law number 6502 was issued.

According to this law, every foreigner who buys real Estate in Turkey, is considered to be the consumer. It is important to note that the person who acquires property for commercial or professional purposes doesn't fall under the definition of the consumer and is not under protection of the Consumer law.

It often happens that the acquired new housing has certain defects and shortcomings. Sometimes after putting the house in operation, the characteristics stated in the documents do not correspond to the ones presented in the show room (an example apartment) and the state of housing is not sufficient for normal living. There might be two main problems:

  1. The state of property does not meet the promises of the builder.
  2. The state of property does not meet generally accepted standards.

An important factor is the promises which the developer gives in advertising campaigns and ads. As convincing advertisement and the benefits promised by the developer quite often encourage consumers to make up a contract and purchase particular property.

If the features of the infrastructure and housing benefits claimed in advertising are not true, the seller (construction company) is responsible to the consumer.

We want to give some examples of trials with construction companies from the legal practice of our law firm in Turkey.

  • In the advertisement, it was stated that the area of the apartment is 100m2, but after putting the house in operation it became clear that the real area of the property is only 88 m2. In this case, our company has managed to win a lawsuit against the developer.
  • Another case from the legal practice of Hakan Üncüoğlu law office. In the advertisement developer promised that the residential complex will have such facilities a sports center, a tennis court, playgrounds and a private beach. Due to the lack of infrastructure stated in the advertisement, the foreign consumer was able to successfully win a lawsuit against a construction company.

The rights of a consumer who have purchased defective property.

If purchased housing is substandard, according to the Consumer law number 6502, the deceived buyer has four alternatives:

  1. Require the cancellation of the contract. The construction company must pay back the full cost of the property.
  2. The consumer may require alternative accommodation without defects from the construction company.
  3. The consumer has a right to receive a discount on the purchase of real estate based on the defects and existing problems of the property.
  4. The consumer may require the full repair of the property defects at the expense of the developer.

The consumer can take advantage of any of the 4 options, but in practice, most consumers demand a discount on the purchased housing. So the construction company pays back the part of property cost to the buyer in accordance with the importance of defects.

According to the Article № 12 of the Turkish Consumer Law № 6502, a consumer has a right to bring an action against the construction company no later than 5 years after putting the house in operation.