Imagine sitting on your koltuk (couch) watching your curtains blow in the breeze, Turkish music playing gently in the background, a glass of raki or maybe a bottle of Angora wine in front of you. Its evening and you are relaxing and chilling out in your newly purchased Turkish property in a lovely complex, or sitesi, as it is known in Turkish. You might be considering whether you have the energy for an hour in the community gym or maybe to just pop down to the indoor pool. The doorbell rings and a Turkish gentleman is there and, after introducing himself, he asks you for money for your aidat. Money for what?
Aidat is the monthly maintenance payment that all owners of Turkish property have to pay for the upkeep of the building and its grounds. There is no choice in the matter. This money has to be paid. How it is paid and the amount that is paid varies from property to property. Hopefully, unlike the man in my tale, any of you who purchase a Turkish property will have been informed of this payment prior to purchase. Certainly in Istanbul and other cities depending on the facilities provided, this can be quite a consideration for your budget. The aidat can be paid monthly or yearly and is normally paid to the housing association of the sitesi or apartment block. This could have been delegated to a property management company, who will collect via electronic transfers or cash collection. The fee for the management company will be included in the aidat fee. More and more builders and real estate companies put their own management company in place and you can be reassured you are dealing with a professional and responsible company.
As with any dissatisfaction go to the source, maybe ascertaining if anyone else in the property has the same or similar problems. Corresponding personally with the company is good, but always have a written correspondence alongside any verbal communication. If the problem is not resolved, then your concerns need to go the housing management committee. All apartment blocks and sitesi have to have a homeowner’s associations and there are Turkish Laws outlying the duties and responsibilities of these associations and the owners. With a majority vote they can employ or dismiss a management company. However, do not make the mistake of thinking the management company is the Homeowners Association (that consists of the property owners), but remember the builder can also be a property owner and in a lot of cases employs his own firm. A yearly meeting has to be held, where officials are elected to the Homeowner Association Board and rules and decisions are voted upon. Having bought your Turkish property, it is wise to be aware of the responsibilities as an owner. Not just for your apartment, but the building and facilities within it.