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Purchasing a property has many compelling reasons considering the massive portfolio in the real estate market which offers a wide range of choice to foreign buyers from the basic and budget to luxury properties in coastal towns of the Black Sea, Aegean and Mediterranean or modern properties in big cities such as Istanbul, Izmir or Ankara which mostly attract foreigners working in Turkey. During the purchase procedure - which has been explained thoroughly within our website - one of the frequent questions we receive relates to the habitation certificate.
1. What is a habitation certificate?
A habitation certificate is a building utilization permit that shows the property is legally habitable. It should be known that neither the Registry nor the title deed gives us the information concerning a property’s habitation permit. That said, it is possible to determine from the “type” of property whether a habitation permit has been acquired or not. If the property is registered as “condominium (kat mülkiyeti)” on the title deed, it means that the habitation certificate for that property has already been acquired by the previous owner and there is no need to acquire it again.
2. When do you need a habitation certificate?
Typically, you’ll only be needing a habitation certificate if you have your building constructed from scratch or if the contractor hasn’t applied for the certificate yet. If that is the case; a habitation certificate is a document issued by the Zoning Directorates of the municipalities, showing that the building was built and completed in accordance with the standards specified in the legislation with the licence and annexes required. In order for this certificate to be obtained, there are three requirements according to Turkish law:
- The construction work of the building - that has a valid construction permit/licence – should be completed,
- The construction must have started within two years from the date of the construction permit
- The construction must be completed within five years.
3. Application process
The application for the certificate is made to the municipality by the contractor, and after the application, a check is made to ensure that the building has been constructed in accordance with the licence and its annexes.
After the checks are completed, the owner or the contractor is required to submit the relevant technical reports on issues such as water and electricity supply, telephone, shelter, fire-safety, elevator installations, and a notarized letter of undertaking indicating that the building was built in accordance with the licence and its annexes to the Building Utilization Permit.
After these steps have been taken and the property taxes are paid and shares in the property allotted, a habitation certificate can be obtained for each independent section in the building. Acquiring of habitation certificate is at great importance because if not applied adequately or if the completed construction does not comply with the plans within the construction licence, the municipality is entitled to order the demolition of the building.
Therefore, before buying a property from a contractor or an “off-plan property” it is of utmost importance to seek the assistance of an experienced lawyer in this field who will ensure that the construction has been completed within the time frame and that the building complies with the plans submitted within the construction licence.