How to get a Turkish title deed (TAPU)
What is a TAPU, or Turkish title deed?
A Turkish title deed, known in Turkey as a Tapu, is an all-important document denoting property ownership. Deeds include information about the property and the owner.
Title deeds in Turkey are supplied, registered and archived by the Tapu and Cadastre General Directorate.
It’s important that buyers understand what is involved in the Turkish title deed transfer process - as well as the pitfalls involved. We recommend you consult a lawyer to help you with all the necessary checks involved in the process, especially when a purchase is non-standard: for example, if you’re buying a Turkish property with the aim of obtaining citizenship.
We work with a number of solicitors around Turkey and we can recommend a suitable professional. However, we also offer a complete purchase and investment package, paving the way for a smooth transaction from start to finish.
What are the different types of Turkish title deed?
There are two types of Turkish title deed, or Tapu.
This Tapu pertains to land titles and shared ownership. Explained as the following:
1. Land ownership: For titles pertaining to land, the title will be for that land and won’t apply to any dwellings.
2. Shared ownership: If the Tapu pertains to a development of several dwellings, the title will tell you what share you have of the overall property. For example, you might own house number 3 in a block of 20 homes, but the title will simply say that you have one share out of 20. This limits an owner’s autonomy over the property, and some will find themselves stuck when it comes to making large decisions pertaining to the sale or upkeep of the property.
Owners of properties with shared ownership titles cannot take out a mortgage.
This freehold title deed denotes individual ownership, with the unit specified on the title deed. So if we look at our previous example, it will say “house 3” as opposed to a share of the overall development. This type of title deed can have a mortgage on it.
The freehold title is either 'kat irtifaki' or 'kat mulkiyeti’: residential or commercial. A check box on the form will denote which category your property falls into.
1. Kat artifaki: this translates to “construction servitude”. This title denotes a development that is still a work in progress. A kat artifaki title shows the allotment of units within a development, as per the resource consent.
2. Kat mulkiyeti: Once the development is completed, authorities from the local municipality come and check the property to ensure construction is all above board. They’ll then grant an occupation licence, or Iskan. An Iskan allows a title to be converted to the next stage: kat mulkiyeti, or full title deed.
Once a kat mulkiyeti is obtained, a property can have its utilities connected. So if your title deed states 'kat mulkiyeti’, it means the property has an Iskan (habitation licence) issued by authorities from city planning department. We encourage our clients to ensure a kat mulkiyeti title is in place: without this you are leaving yourself vulnerable with a substandard dwelling which will be extremely difficult to sell on.
Checking your Turkish title deed
As part of the necessary checks, it’s important to look at title deed clearance. This is where title deeds are records for any charges, mortgages, or other restrictions against the title. This can be done by the buyer, or a buyer’s lawyer, if they hold power of attorney.
How much does a Turkish title deed cost?
When buying or selling Turkish properties there are fees relevant to title deed transactions.
- Title deed transfer fee: this is also known as stamp duty tax, and is 4% of the purchase price.
- This is currently 3% until March 31, 2019, a temporary reduction which might be extended further.
- This fee is payable when a title deed exchange is being completed (sale and purchase). Generally, the seller declares the sales value, and the buyer pays the fee.
How to get a Turkish title deed
1. Make an appointment at your local title deed office. Don’t forget your passport and ID cards.
2. The parties agree on a declaration value for the transaction, so stamp duty can be applied. This is paid by the buyer.
3. Stamp duty is paid by a wire transfer.
4. The seller signs the title deed to the buyer by acknowledging receipt of the purchase consideration, and confirming they are transferring the title without duress.
5. The buyer signs the title deed and accepts the title, including any charges it may have on it. (like what?)
6. The original title deed is issued to the name of the new owner.
Turkish title deeds and citizenship by investment
A Turkish passport is now on the table for anyone with a minimum of $250,000 wishing to invest in Turkey’s property.
When a property buyer applies for citizenship in this circumstance, a charge is placed on the title deed preventing title deed transfer (sale) for three years. With that in mind, we recommend all citizenship investors ensure they’re buying a title “clean” of any mortgages or charges.
If you’d like to know more about obtaining a Turkish title deed, please get in touch with Property Turkey.