Turkey: The Usufruct Lease Under The Provisions Of Turkish Code Of Obligations No. 6098

The "Usufruct Lease" is regulated under the Turkish Code of Obligations ("TCO") No. 6098 between Articles 357 and 378.

The usufruct lease is a contract whereby the lessor undertakes to grant the lessee the right of use of a productive object and the benefit of its fruits or proceeds in exchange for rent.
Unless there is a special provision, general provisions on lease contracts shall be applicable to the usufruct lease.

If a usufruct lease contract includes equipment, animals, the objects transferred or the goods stocked, the parties are obliged to assess the values of such items together, record them and provide a copy of the signed inventory to the other party.

Articles 360 and 361 of the TCO regulate the obligations of the lessor. Pursuant to these articles, the lessor is required to deliver the leased object including the leased movable property, if there is any, to the lessee in a condition fit for its designated use and operation and to maintain it in that condition throughout the period of the contract. Moreover, the lessor is obliged to carry out major repairs as required on the object during the lease term at his own expense and as soon as the lessee has informed him of the need for such repairs.

As per Article 362 of the TCO, the tenant or lessee must pay the rent and the accessory charges at the end of each month and at the latest upon expiry of the lease, unless otherwise stipulated under the contract or required by local custom. In the event of non-payment of the rent that has become due upon delivery of the leased or in the event of non-payment of the accessory charges, the lessor may set a written time limit of at least 60 days for payment and notify the lessee that in the event of nonpayment he will terminate the lease upon expiry of that time limit.

Pursuant to Article 363 of the TCO, the lessee may request a reduction of the rent in extraordinary circumstances. According to the said article, the lessee may require the lessor to reduce the rent proportionately where the usual proceeds of an agricultural land decreases due to an extraordinary disaster or natural events. Initial waiver of such right shall be valid only if the possibility of occurrence of such circumstances have been taken into account in determining the rental amount or if the damage arising is covered by insurance.

Along with the obligation to pay the rent, the lessee has an obligation to use, operate and maintain the leased object. The lessee is obliged to use the leased object in accordance with its intended use and operate it with due care and in particular must ensure that its long-term productivity is sustained. The lessee must not change the operational procedure of the leased object in a manner that may be observed after the expiry of the lease period without the consent of the lessor. Moreover, the lessee must carry out the normal maintenance of the leased object. In accordance with local custom, he must carry out minor repairs and replace inexpensive equipment and tools which have become useless as a result of age or wear and tear.

Article 366 of the TCO regulates the prohibition to sub-lease and transfer the right of use. In accordance with this article, the lessee may not sub-let all or part of the leased object or transfer the right of use or operation without the lessor's consent. However, the lessee may lease some parts of the leased object provided that it does not require any change that may cause damage to the lessor. The rules regulating sub-lease shall be applicable by analogy to the lease contracts concluded between the lessee and the third party.

The circumstances that could bring an end to the usufruct lease contract are; the (i) expiry of time, (ii) notice of termination and (iii) extraordinary termination.

In principle, the lease contract automatically comes to an end upon expiry of the period where there is a usufruct lease contract for a limited duration. However, if the lease is tacitly continued, the lease contract shall be deemed renewed for an additional year unless otherwise agreed. The renewed lease contract may be terminated at the end of each lease year in compliance with the legal notification period.

Notification is required for the termination of a usufruct lease contract concluded for an indefinite period. The parties may terminate the contract in compliance with the notice period of at least six months, except where the notice period has been otherwise agreed under the contract or determined by local customs. Unless otherwise stipulated in a contract, a termination notice may be served in spring and autumn for usufruct leases on agricultural lands in accordance with the local customs.  A termination notice may be served at any time for other usufruct leases.
Extraordinary termination may be possible in the event of (i) a material cause, (ii) bankruptcy of the lessee or (iii) death of the lessee.

Where performance of the contract becomes unconscionable for a party for good cause, such party may terminate the lease in compliance with the legally prescribed termination notice period. The judge shall determine the financial consequences of an extraordinary termination notice, taking into account all of the circumstances and conditions.

Where the lessee becomes bankrupt, the contract shall automatically end on the commencement of bankruptcy proceedings.  However, the lessor is obliged to sustain the contract until the end of the lease year provided that the lessee has furnished the necessary security for processing the rent and for the goods documented under the inventory.

In the event of the death of the lessee, his heirs or the lessor may terminate the contract provided that they comply with the legal termination notice period of six months.
At the end of the lease, the lessee must return the object along with all items listed in the record in the condition they are in currently.

The lessee is obliged to pay compensation due to a reduction in value, which may have been prevented had the lessee better maintained the leased object. However, the lessee may not claim compensation for the increase in the value of the object resulting from a normal degree of diligent maintenance.

Where items listed in the record were valued when the object was originally handed over to the lessee, he must return a record of items of the same type and estimated value or pay compensation for any reduction in value. However, the lessee may be relieved from return or payment of compensation by proving the fault of the lessor or the presence of force majeure. The lessee may request compensation for the expenses he incurred which resulted in an increase in the value due to his efforts.

The lessee of an agricultural land may not assert any right over the fruits not yet harvested upon the termination of the lease contract. However, the lessee may request as compensation the agriculture expenses he incurred for the growing of the product, which will be determined by the judge, and this compensation shall be reduced from the processed rents.

The lessee returning the leased object must leave enough stock as required by a regular enterprise in the leased object. The lessee may request compensation for the excess stock left, if he leaves more than he originally obtained; if he leaves less than he originally obtained, he is obliged to replace what is lacking or compensate the reduction in value.


The Usufruct lease, which is regulated between Articles 357 and 378 of the TCO, is defined as a contract whereby the lessor undertakes to grant the lessee the right of use of a productive object and the benefit of its fruits or proceeds in exchange for rent.

Unless there is a special provision, general provisions on lease contracts shall be applicable to the usufruct lease.
The lessor is under the obligation to deliver the leased object in a condition fit for its designated purpose, appropriate for operation and make major repairs. Moreover, the lessee, along with the obligation to pay the rent and the accessory charges, is obliged to use, operate and maintain the leased object.

The conditions which may bring an end to the usufruct lease contract are the (i) expiry of time, (ii) notice of termination and (iii) extraordinary termination.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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