Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Hottest topic of Alanya is about your guests


Recently the most discussed topics related to real estate in Alanya is without doubt the amendments to the law about short time rental of privately owned property.

This has led to several other discussions that are also relevant for owners of private properties that do not rent out their property.

Mainly two questions are being discussed....

- When are people that are staying in my property to be considered as commercial rentals?


- Must I register my guests with the local authorities and how is that done?


On social media platforms a fierce discussion has been going on. So far most information available has been 3rd party information such as "according to.... ", "we were told that... ", "local authorities said that... " and so on.

In this blog post we will take a slightly different approach. We will take a look at the actual laws and form an opinion based on what the laws and regulations say.

Before we start please note this carefully:

- This information is not for those who actually rent out their property commercially.

- By the word "guest" we mean one or more people such as any kind of family, friend or acquaintance that has been allowed to use your property in Turkey on a none-commercial basis while you are not using it.
Or in other words: When you let someone you know stay in your property for free while you are not present.

- By the word "rental" we mean one or more people that use your property and pay for it.

Let us dig deeper into this.

When are guests considered as commercial rentals?

In the law there is no specification of this. The obvious answer to the question must be, that guests are guests and rentals are rentals.
So guests you allow to stay for free, rentals are paying you..

During an info meeting held recently in Alanya it was stated by local tax authorities that "only 1st degree relatives would be considered as none-commercial guests and that everyone else would be considered as commercial rentals."

But when looking at the actual law, there is no such distinguishing between guests and rentals.

So this is a statement not supported by the actual law and from a more logical point of view it does not make much sense that your uncle can not use your apartment while you are away without being viewed as a commercial renter.

It is also important to mention that it is not you that must prove that you are not engaged in commercial rental activities.
It is the local authorities that must prove that you have commercial and paying rentals in your property.

So obviously there is a misalignment between the actual law and what local authorities say. This obviously can lead to some unpleasant situation for everyone involved.
We believe that the actual law will prevail and that you as before can let guests stay in your property without facing any trouble.

Now let us take a look at the second topic.


All guests using your property must be registered with police or gendarmerie

At the info meeting held police and gendarmerie informed that "property owners are obliged to keep local police and gendarmerie informed about who is staying in the property while the owner is not present."

But by taking a look at the law no such registration system is mentioned, nor does it exist or have ever existed in recent times.

On social media links to government web sites for doing this registration of guests have been circulating together with physical paper copies for manual registration of guests.

But these websites and forms are all for commercial use and the system is for hotels, camp grounds, boarding schools, hostels and other places that are renting out accommodation.

As a fact, no system for registering private guests exists nor is there any kind of law that requires private people to register anywhere when staying in other privately owner property as a guest, no matter if the property owner is present or not.

A system for registering your home address obviously exists, just like it does in any other country. But that system has nothing to do with registration of the guests in your property.

This is also not a "touristic" thing just for foreigners, since there is nothing in the law that specifies that foreigners are subject to a different set of rules than Turkish people.

Let us try to look at this from a different angle and do a little experiment:

Mustafa lives in Alanya and his childhood friend Kemal lives in Istanbul. Now Kemal goes one week to Ankara to visit his parents. While Kemal is away, he allows Mustafa to travel to Istanbul and use his apartment there.
Will Mustafa register this stay in Kemals apartment anywhere?
Try asking any Turkish person you know, and they will look at you with a strange face and say "Registrer, why? Of course not..."

And there you have your answer.....

So what now?

That is a good question which is hard to answer. Obviously there is a big difference between what is being said and what is supported by facts of the law.

How it could come to this we could really not figure out. But the result has been that wrong information suddenly becomes solid facts.
And when the disinformation is spread via social media and newsletters from estate agents and management companies it is causing a lot of confusion.

We are not saying that we know and understand everything better and more correct than all others.

But we are saying that a lot of the information that is currently circulating is not backed by facts, it is purely based on what someone has heard or what someone said.

That a lot of this misinformation comes from local authorities is unfortunate, but that does not make the information more valid.

This entire blog post should not be taken as a fact sheet, but more as a contribution to the ongoing discussion from the perspective of what the law says.

Should any of you out there have any kind of solid information we would like to hear from you. 

Until more information and clarification is available we would recommend the following actions can be taken.

None of it is required by law, but it might help misunderstandings from happening.

- When allowing guests to use your property, then provide them with a signed letter in Turkish and English that allows them to use the property for free as guests and explain your relationship. Include passport copies of all parties as well as a copy of the title deed.

- Prepare some information that establishes the relationship between the guests and the owner such as photos or posts from social media accounts.

- Inform your administrator, caretaker and maybe your neighbours that guests will visit your property.

Hopefully we will all soon have some clarification and alignment of what is solid information and what is not.

Until that we have to be patient and do not go into panic. Because in reality there is not much to panic about.

With that, thank you for reading!


//// Additional info and links ////

The law related to registration is called the "kimlik bildirim kanunu" and is available here:

Even with a simple google translation it is clear to everyone that this law is related to places such as hotels, motels, camp grounds, schools, dormitories, hostels, rental of rooms by either private entities or by public institutions.
In Turkish these places are called "konaklama" which translates to "accommodation".

In the text you will see wording such as "private, public and official accommodation" used.
In this context "private" does not mean your private home. It means privately owned places with accommodation which primarily is hotels, rental apartments, hostels and other privately held places that offer paid accommodation.  

It has no relevance or connection to private properties that have private guests staying.

And before you ask: No, we did not form our opinion based on a google translation. We, two independent lawyers related to our company as well as another independent lawyer not related to our company has all expressed the same legal opinion.

In the "kimlik bildirim kanunu" a few articles have relevance to private persons.

Article 7 describes temporary relocations, such as going to spend the entire summer in your mountain house.

It also mentions that the "head of the family" must register in case the family that he or she represents stay for more than 30 days.
So in case you have guests staying for more than 30 days a registration is needed, no matter if you as owner are present in the property yourself or not.

As a side note, it is worth considering not allowing guests to stay more than 30 days unless you are present in the property yourself.
This because it might be hard to justify why guests, who do not pay rent, are staying +30 days in your property without the owner not being present.
But again, there is nothing in the law that requires guests to stay less than 30 days.

In article 11 it is described that complex managers, caretakers and board members in complexes with privately owned properties are obliged to check if any unauthorized people are staying in the units or common areas such as garages and other facilities.

If asked, owners and rentals are obliged to cooperate with managers, caretakers and board members to provide proof of their connection to the complex.

So what does this mean? It means that your caretaker, board members or your administration company has the right to ask anyone present in your complex to identify themselves and provide information on their connection to the complex.

But the initiative to do this lies with the caretaker/ administrator and not with you as owner, guests or visitor to the complex.

Another example that we have seen is that local authorities have told property owners that they should fill the form named "tesis bildirim formu".
An example of that form can be found here, where the chamber of commerce of Malatya has made it available online.

The form is actually not for individual people. It is a form where a place such as a workplace, hotel or any kind of other place provide their contact information to the gendarmerie.

In other words, who should the gendarmerie contact in case they want to speak to the responsible person or manager from that place.

More detailed information about the "tesis bildirim sistemi" can be found here:

According to their manual the system is divided into two parts:

Page 11: Konaklayan işlemleri

- This is for accommodation such as hotels, motels, camp grounds etc.

Page 16: Çalışan işlemleri
- This is for staff and personal, most often someone that live where they work or where the workplace is responsible for the accommodation.

Again, this has nothing to do with private homes and their private guests.




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