Over the last couple of weeks many readers have contacted us to ask for the facts regarding the requirement to change their Tapu (Title Deed). The concern has been that property owners are keen to complete the necessary procedures before the cut-off date in order to avoid a hefty fine.

In essence, in November 2007, several amendments were made to an existing law which required ALL property owners to obtain an independent freehold title. The deadline for notification to the relevant local government offices was set at November 28th 2009.

It appears that there is quite a variety of different circumstances that owners have found themselves in and each is obviously anxious to find out how the law affects them personally. The two main property groups that contacted us were those that lived in apartment blocks and those that lived in either detached or semi-detached houses and the process is slightly different for each group. Many owners were unsure as to whether they had a Habitation Certificate (Yapı Kullanma İzin Belgesi) or not. This came to light when it was understood that the existence and production of this document was an important item on the list needed at the survey (Kadestro) department of the Land Registry office before the changes to the Title Deed could be made.

We would like to be able to give everyone a full and, more importantly, accurate explanation of exactly what needs to be done for each set of circumstances. To that end we are using a few of you as guinea pigs and are following you through the process to see how you get on. In the next issue out on June 1st we hope to bring you that comprehensive guide.

For the meantime, on page 4, you can find an exact translation of the whole law provided by our resident Legal Translator, Y.Stella Seko.

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