The Law No. 7181 on the Amendments to the Land Registry Law and Certain Other Laws (“Law“) was published on July 10, 2019 in the Official Gazette No. 30827. The Law introduces several amendments to certain laws including the Land Registry Law, Zoning Law, Municipality Law and Turkish Civil Code.
Important Amendments to the Land Registry Law
- Concerning contracts for transferring the ownership of immovable property, if the parties are located in different land registry directorates or abroad, the parties may submit their declarations of intents separately to the authorized officials to conclude the contract. The amendment will enter into force on January 1, 2020.
- As per the additional article introduced to the Land Registry Law, owners of shares and beneficiaries of rights, in rem or personam, that were affected negatively due to errors in the cadaster determination or the land registry will be served a notification regarding the reasons of the error and the status of the post-correction shares. If the parties consent to correcting the error within 30 days from the date of notification, the correction will be made. If the parties do not give their consent within 30 days, the land registry will correct the error ex officio and the relevant parties will be notified. The relevant parties will be able to start legal proceedings in the civil court of first instance within 60 days from the date of notification.
- The relevant regulation requiring deed officers to attach photos of the owner or the parties on formal deeds is abolished.
Important Amendments to the Property Ownership Law
- In order to correct the erroneous block numbers of buildings subject to property ownership, the absolute majority of the floor owners must vote to correct the error and they must obtain a relevant technical report. To correct erroneously numbered independent sections, only the relevant technical report is required.
Important Amendments to the Zoning Law
– Agricultural Lands
- The new amendment expands the scope of the prohibition on the planning of agricultural lands. As per the amendment, agricultural lands cannot be used, planned or identified as settled areas for anything but agricultural purposes without obtaining the permits stipulated in the relevant legislation.
– Development Adjustment Shares
- The scope of the development adjustment shares (Tr. düzenleme ortaklık payı) was expanded to include places allocated to general public services such as social educational facility and healthcare facility areas; accordingly, the relevant regulations concerning public partnership shares (Tr. kamu ortaklık payları) were abolished. The upper limit for the development adjustment share collected from the relevant fields and lands increased from 40% to 45%. In this respect, the development adjustment share will not exceed 45% of the size of the relevant field or land prior to the relevant development adjustment project.
- Development adjustment shares cannot be collected from any parcel more than once. However, if a construction plan decision increases the structuring conditions and population, the relevant authority may cut an additional development adjustment share from the relevant parcel by up to 45%.
- In case development adjustment share cannot be collected from the parcels due to the existing structures on the parcel, this share can be converted to a certain price to be used in the expropriation made for the development of the area.
- Relevant transactions relating to the parcels’ development readjustment share and public partnership shares calculated prior to the entry into force of the Law and approved by the relevant administration or competent authority can be made until July 10, 2021.
– Parking Lots
- Unstructured parcels can be operated as an open parking lot upon the consent of the parcel owners and permission of the relevant administration, provided that it does not interrupt the flow of traffic.
– Derelict Buildings
- A new provision regarding structures at risk of being demolished was introduced. In accordance with the new provision, the municipality or governor will serve a notice to the owners of the buildings that present a risk to the general security and public safety within three days after the risk is identified. If the notice cannot be served, the information will be announced on the website of the relevant administration for a period of 30 days. If the hazardous situation is not remedied within the period given by the relevant administration, a period that cannot exceed 30 days following the notice or the announcement, the relevant administration will carry out the relevant processes to eliminate the risk of demolishment. The owner will pay for the costs incurred by the relevant administration plus an additional penalty equivalent to 20% of the costs.
– Construction Application Errors and the President’s Power
- The President will determine the boundaries and coordinates of immovable properties to correct construction application errors that stem from the inability to correct areas, boundaries and shares that cannot be solved through litigation due to the diversity of the subjects and the excessive number of parties.
– Buildings Subject to Registration Certificate and Adequate Pay
- The amendment introduced a new provision regarding immovable properties subject to the building registration certificate for buildings constructed without a license or contrary to the license’s specifications. In this regard, if these properties are assigned to the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization (“Ministry“) and the Ministry sells them, adequate pay (Tr. ecrimisil) will not be collected for these properties for the period between the date the building registration certificate was issued and the date of sale. If a certificate of title deed was issued for these structures and the relevant land prices were paid, the owner of the building registration certificate would not have to pay the sales price to the Ministry.
Important Amendments to the Turkish Civil Code
- With respect to liens established for a limited period, the land registry directorate will release the lien upon the request of the owner and if the annotation under Article 150/c of the Execution and Bankruptcy Law is not put onto the title deed 30 days before the end of the limited period. The relevant provision will enter into force on January 1, 2020. For liens that expired but not released before January 1, 2020, the 30-day period will start from January 1, 2020 as per the new amendment to the Land Registry Law.
Important Amendments to the Municipal Law
- Adequate pay for publicly owned immovable properties in the urban transformation and development areas transferred to the municipalities will no longer be collected; no accrued charges will be collected; and all collected fees will be refunded starting from the date of the President’s decision on the determination of urban transformation and development area.
Important Amendments to the Law on Supporting the Development of Forest Villagers and Valuation of Areas Excluded From Forrest Area Borders on Behalf of the Treasury and the Sale of Agricultural Lands Owned by the Treasury
- Regarding the sale of immovable properties in 2/B areas and agricultural lands owned by the Treasury, the application and payment period for applicants (i) who did not apply or did not make the payment by the deadline specified in the relevant notice; and (ii) who are paying in installments and did not pay more than two installments was extended until December 16, 2019.
- However, in order to benefit from section (ii), fifty percent of the sales price must be paid by December 16, 2019.
Important Amendments to the Law on Transformation of Areas under Disaster Risk
- Immovable properties transferred to contractors for urban transformation activities cannot be seized or be subject to any legal measures due to the contractor’s debts to third parties, except for receivables resulting from workmanship or materials used, until a construction servitude is established on behalf of the owners of the property. However, in case a construction servitude is not established within six months from the commencement of the construction, such immovable properties may be seized or subject to legal measures.
- In addition, the sale of independent units reserved for contractors undertaking the construction work can be made according to the progress level of the construction and with the relevant municipality’s permission. The consent of all owners will be required for the sale of a contractor’s share of independent units at the completion rate or above.
- With respect to the areas or parcels under urban transformation, (i) if the construction of the new building has not started within a year or (ii) the construction was discontinued and has been on hold for at least six months, the owners holding at least two-thirds majority of the shares may take a decision for the termination of the contract with the contractor. The owners’ decision regarding the termination of the contract may also be submitted to the Ministry for the Ministry to identify (i) and (ii) above. Accordingly, if the Ministry identifies that the contractor did not start the construction or the construction was discontinued and has been on hold for at least six months, the contractor will have 30 days to commence the work. If the contractor does not commence the work within the 30-day period, the contract between the contractor and the owners will be terminated ex officio.
- Following a termination of contract, contracts annotated on the deed registry of the relevant property will be released. General provisions of law will be applicable regarding the works completed until the termination, transfer of shares, payments and other matters. The rent allowance payments that the contractors made to the right holders until the date of termination cannot be reclaimed.
- The Ministry may perform urban transformation activities or have them performed ex officio in the areas where structures under the risk of being demolished, or structures that are heavily damaged or under the risk of being heavily damaged are located without the consent of the stakeholders. All title deed and cadaster transactions before the relevant authorities, including all license and permit operations regarding demolishment and construction, will be made upon the request of the Ministry, without the consent of the owners and stakeholders.
The amendments to the Law concern several matters, including title deed transactions of citizens residing abroad, demolishment of derelict buildings, the use of agricultural areas, and the annulment of public partnership shares. In this regard, all relevant real and legal persons must carefully review the amendments and comply with the principles and procedures under the legislation.