7 November 2023

Law On The Rental Of Residential Properties For Tourism Purposes: Is The Clock Ticking For Airbnb And Short-Term Rentals In Turkey?

CVG Hukuk


CVG Law Firm offers a full range of legal and compliance services to international and local clients. CVG is a boutique law firm, mainly specialized in compliance and litigation and our aim is to become one of the leading firms in Istanbul in technology, media and telecommunications law by extending our expertise in those areas.
Technology and its innovations have led the evolution of business models and emergence of new sub-sectors in various fields.
Turkey Real Estate and Construction
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Technology and its innovations have led the evolution of business models and emergence of new sub-sectors in various fields. With the growing population and the expansion of trade between countries, we have witnessed a period in which new business models threatened traditional business models as they operate on multiple continents almost simultaneously. . These new business models have become indispensable for the qualified majority of societies before legislators have completed their legislative framework for the impact of the technology onon the economy and society. As these new business remain in the gray are due to the lack of legal regulation, they are either banned by legislators or they are legalised and become a new source of taxation for governments. Turkey has adopted both approaches in the past, such as the restrictions imposed on and Uber, as well as legalisation of electronic money institutions.

Short-term rental activity, which became prominent in different jurisdiction with Airbnb, one of the leading companies in the Proptech (Real Estate Technologies) sector, remained in the gray area due to the lack of legal regulation in Turkey as in many countries. With the publication of the "Law on the Rental of Residential Properties for Tourism Purposes and Amendments to Certain Laws" (the "Law") in the Official Gazette dated 02 November 2023 it is possible to foresee that this sector will turn into a very challenging permitting process for its participants.

Preamble of the Law

In the aftermath of the pandemic, short-term rental activities were criticized by the public for causing rent increases by limiting the housing supply, unfair competition with hotels, , making law enforcement more challenging, abolishing the neighbourhood culture and causing tax losses. In line with these criticisms, the legislator has subjected the short-term rental activities to a permit process due to as "public order" and "prevention of unreported income".

Regulations introduced within the scope of the Law.

The Law defines the rental of residential properties for a maximum term of one hundred (100) days for any purpose as " rental for tourism purposes". Accordingly, short-term rental activities have been considered as a sub-branch of tourism activities and carrying out such activity without a " Permit of Rental for Tourism Purposes" issued by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism is prohibited.

The regulations introduced under the Law for obtaining a tourism-oriented rental permit are subject to the following procedures and principles.

  • 100-Day Rental Term Limit: In the preamble, the Law states that it is limiting the rental activities subject to permit under the Law to 100 days since the duration of stay of expats is generally 3 months. According to the Law, those who rent the same residential property more than four times within one calendar year from the initial contract date are also prohibited. Those who comply with this limitation and rent for more than 100 days will be able to operate subject to the rental provisions of the Turkish Code of Obligations without being covered by the Law. Therefore, the procedures and principles introduced by this Law shall not apply to lease agreements concluded beyond this period.
  • Obligation to obtain permission from the condominium owners: The most important and compelling condition for obtaining a permit is the submission of a unanimous decision by all the condominium owners in the building where the relevant independent section is located.
  • Limitation of permit to a single flat owner to aximum of 25% of the independent sections in buildings with more than three independent sections: Accordingly, a single landlord can only obtain permits for 25% (twenty-five per cent) of the flats in a building. Therefore, a landlord who wishes to obtain permits for more than twenty-five percent of all the units in a building or the building will be excluded from the scope of the Law and will be subject to the procedures and principles of hotel or pension management. This regulation can be considered to have been introduced to prevent unfair competition between hotels and guesthouses and rental for tourism purposes.
  • Requirement for the Lessor to be the owner or holder of usufruct or right of property: This requirement differs from Turkish Code of Obligations, which does not require the lessor to be the owner. Accordingly, subleasing for tourism purposes is prohibitied. However, according to paragraph 5 (fifth) of Article 3 (third) of the Law, it is stated that rentals can be made through Category A travel agencies. However, since the definition, terms and conditions of the "rental intermediation" activity are not specified, it remains unclear whether corporate companies operating in this sector can operate by obtaining this certificate.
  • Mandatory Display of a Tourism Residential Sign at the Door: A plaque with the qualifications determined by the Ministry must be displayed at the entrance of the building.
  • Abolition of the business operation license: In the activities carried out prior to the Law, some municipalities demanded a business operating license in order to carry out the activity on the grounds that the activity was not a rental but a commercial operation. With the amendment introduced in Article 18 (eighteenth) of the Law, it is determined that residences that obtain a Tourism Rental Permit will be exempt from this license. Thus, the obligation to have a fire escape ladder has been eliminated for residences that can obtain the necessary consent. However, it is also regulated that if a floor owner applies for a permit for more than 5 (five) independent sections within the same building, he/she will be obliged to obtain a license.
  • Prohibition of Sub-Lease: Pursuant to the Law, the tenants of the residential property witha Permit are prohibited from carrying out the rental activity regulated under the law through sub-lease.
  • Exemption for Residence Houses: "High-quality residences" are defined as "residences with more than one section where there are reception, security and daily cleaning services, where services such as health services, dry cleaning, laundry, catering and shopping services, gym and swimming pool can be provided". It is stated that if the management plan of high-quality residences includes a provision stating that "short-term rental activity is permitted", the Permit may be issued without any other permission form the landlords and without being subject to the twenty-five (25) per cent limit. It is stated that the rental activities in high quality residences with this Permit can be carried out through "housing enterprises", which is not defined in the Law, and this activity will not fall under the sublease prohibition in the Law. Since the contractor companies of high quality housing units annotate the management plan during the establishment of condominium ownership, it can be foreseen that new amendments will be brought to the agenda in such a way that new high quality housing units will be included in the management plan and these activities will be included in the existing management plans.
  • Status of Complexes: If the the activity is to be carried out in a building containing more than one independent section within a complex, permission must be obtained from all owners in the complex.
  • Obligation to report the occupants to the Police: Pursuant to Law No. 1774 on Identity Reporting, the obligation to report the identity of the occupants of the daily rentals through the Identity Reporting System is also specified.

Enforcement of the Law:

The effective date of the Law is stated as 01 January 2024. However, it is regulated that those who continue their current activities should make their permit applications until 01 February 2024.

Administrative Penalties and Revocation of Permit Certificate

Those who fail to comply with the obligations imposed under the Law will be subject to an administrative fine of one hundred thousand Turkish Liras for each contract, as well as an administrative fine of 1 million Turkish Liras if the violations are not rectified.

Revocation of the permit certificate is regulated under Article 5 of the second part of the law. In accordance with the relevant article, the following situations constitute the grounds for the revocation of the permit issued by the Ministry:

a. The permit holder requests the revocation of the permit.

b. Determination that the rental activity for tourism purposes has been terminated.

c. Failure to notify the Ministry within a thirty-day period if the lessor changes with a legal relationship other than inheritance.

d. Notification by the competent public institutions and organizations that the property rented for tourism purposes is used in violation of public order, public security and public morality.

e. If it is determined that the dwelling does not meet the essential qualifications for the issuance of a permit and the deficiencies are not corrected within the fifteen-day period given for the correction of the deficiencies.


Inside AirBnb's data indicates that approximately 45,000 (forty-five thousand) independent units in Istanbul are used for activities covered by the Law. According to data from 2023, the number of tourism facilities in Istanbul is 765 (seven hundred and sixty-five) and the bed capacity is approximately 140,000 (one hundred and forty thousand). According to representatives of the hotel sector, there has been a 20 (twenty) percent decrease in reservations in tourism facilities in the last two years. However, considering the hotels have an average length of stay of 8 (eight) days and the limitation of rent for tourism purposes is 100 (one hundred) days, it is difficult to say that the regulation was solely aimed at regulating competition in the tourism sector. It is understood that the increasing demand for metropolitan areas, the decline in housing supply due to high construction costs, the increasing rental prices, and the public reaction in areas with a neighborhood culture are also effective.

It is possible to foresee that many existing residential properties will return to long-term rentals due to the obligation to obtain consent. It can be said that the rental activities within this scope will be limited to detached houses and "high quality residences".

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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