Accommodation in Turkey
Expatriates moving to Turkey can rest assured that finding suitable, well-priced accommodation will be a relatively pain-free, straightforward process. Expat accommodation in Turkey is widespread and varied, with many great deals to be found. It is also a feasible and popular option for expats to buy houses in Turkey, as property rates are much lower than in many other European states.
Types of accommodation in Turkey
There are many types of accommodation available in Turkey, from flats and apartments, to houses, condominiums and luxury villas. The price of property in Turkey varies greatly according to the type and quality of a residence, its location, the date of its construction, and whether or not it has parking facilities (parking space is at a premium in Turkish cities, especially Istanbul). As can be expected, property prices are generally higher in urban areas than in rural areas.
There are no designated 'expat areas' in Turkey – although expats moving to Istanbul might want to check out the districts of Nişantaşı, Teşvikiye and Cihangir, as these all offer a good range of accommodation options, while at the same time being interesting parts of the city in which to live.
Renting property in Turkey
There are a number of online portals for finding available accommodation in Turkey. Expats should also consider engaging the services of a reputable real estate agent when looking for a place to rent in Turkey. The vast majority of Turkish estate agencies will have a dedicated rentals division. Not all agents will be able to speak English, so it is worth trying to find an agent who is more experienced in dealing with expats. They will have a range of accommodation options which one can view before signing a lease agreement.
Leases in Turkey are generally signed on a year-long basis, and are often paid in advance – although this can sometimes be negotiated, and it may be possible to pay rent in monthly instalments. Note that bargaining is a common and accepted practice in Turkey – if one lacks the stomach or the skills to do it alone, ask the real estate agent to negotiate a favourable monthly rental fee. Agents will also charge a fee for their services, which is also normally negotiable, and it's likely that the tenant will have to pay at least one month's rent as deposit to secure their new apartment.
Expats are urged to request a written lease agreement before committing to the rental, and to read it thoroughly. Tenants should ensure they understand all the terms and conditions laid out in the contract, and if there are any uncertain clauses these should be sorted out and amended before signing anything.
Whether or not the tenant is liable for utility bills in Turkey will depend on the agreement with the landlord - sometimes these costs are included in the monthly rental price, and sometimes not.