Quick Guide to Residential Complex Maintenance in Turkey
Residential complex maintenance in Turkey is often a subject that makes property owners throw their hands up in frustration and confusion. Applying to eight or more apartments within one or more buildings, it refers to the management of all communal areas and services such as swimming pools, electricity in the hallways, water, games room and on-site security.
Yet, it is actually quite simple because the Turkish condominium law outlines the procedures for managing the communal facilities and all apartment owners have an equal say, in the current and future running of their complex.
Turkish Condominium Management Plan
When a developer builds a complex, they have to lodge a management plan with the Land Registry Office. In most cases, the developer maintains the complex until all apartments have been sold and the new owners, set up their own management plan and committee.
Apartment owners at any time can visit the local Land Registry Office with a copy of their Tapu (Title deeds) and request a copy of the current Turkish condominium management plan lodged for their complex.
The plan is a guideline to the rules of the complex, such as decoration of the site, how the money is managed, dates for meetings and who is assuming control. All owners upon buying are automatically bound by the Turkish condominium management plan, and no-one can back out.
Complex Maintenance in Turkey: Annual General Meeting (AGM)
The AGM is an annual meeting of all apartment owners to discuss the budget for the forthcoming year, outstanding issues such as non-payers, voting in new committee members and so forth. All apartment owners are legally given 15 days’ notice, and if they cannot attend, can appoint someone as power of attorney to vote and speak on their behalf. Each apartment gets one vote, regardless of how many people live in that apartment.
Meeting minutes are taken, notarized and made available for inspection by apartment owners at any time. In the case of many owners being of foreign nationality which is often the case in complexes in the holiday resorts of the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, a translator should attend, and the fee is taken out of the annual budget. Tenants do not have rights and cannot vote unless the apartment owner gives them power of attorney to do so.
Complex Maintenance Fees
Fees are paid into a bank account controlled by the management committee and recorded by an accountant. If the committee has followed the law and management plans, they can begin legal procedures to obtain late fees, and in some circumstances, reclaim the property to cover the legal costs. So, it's always best to keep up to date with your site fees and take part in AGMs to ensure your voice is heard.
The Complex Maintenance Management Committee
Apartment owners choose their management committee, who are responsible for putting the complex maintenance plan into effect, setting a budget for the annual maintenance of the site, setting the site fees for owners, as well as appointing a lawyer and an accountant to oversee the legal sides. Apartment owners' fees are either collected monthly, quarterly or annually and the committee is responsible for this.
The Complex Manager
A majority vote of owners elects a manager, and they can request a salary but this has to be majority approved by apartment owners. However, that salary has to be legally declared and also includes additional fees such as health insurance, which takes money away from the budget.
If the manager is also a foreign nationality and receiving a wage, they would also have to apply for a work permit, which complicates the whole situation. For this reason, many apartment owners instead, jointly approve to waive maintenance fees for the manager, to compensate them for their time.
Their responsibilities range from applying the committee's decisions, collecting management fees, beginning legal action and calling a complex meeting when necessary. They also need to keep a decisions' book, and all pages have to be notarized.
The manager should keep all receipts of expenses made for the complex and if required must show to the owners, the management plan. The manager should also show a plan of spends for the forthcoming year and estimate a figure of income. The decisions written in the book must be signed by all owners who attend the meeting.
Opting for a Management Company
The committee may consider choosing an external company to manage the site on an annual basis. Usually, they obtain three or more quotes and then decide on which company to select. Contracts are drawn up between the two parties and notarized, so the agreement is legally binding.
Although it sounds complicated, complex maintenance in Turkey is easy and straightforward to apply, if all apartment owners work together for the greater interest of ensuring all communal facilities run smoothly. If you are planning on purchasing an apartment in Turkey, read our article on annual running costs, that talks about maintenance payments and much more.