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COVID-19: New Legislation on Public Rents and Occupancy Fees (Ecrimisil) to Mitigate the Economic Effects of the Pandemic

Legal Alerts
Covid-19
Real Estate
Compliance
General

Recent Development

The Law No. 7244 on Mitigating the Effects of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic on Economic and Social Life and the Amendments to Certain Laws (“Law”) was published in the Official Gazette No. 31102 on April 17, 2020.

What’s New? 

In order to reduce the negative economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, public receivables can be postponed and rents can be waived for properties that fall within the scope of the Law.

  • Businesses that are tenants of municipalities, provincial special administrations, provincial special administrations’ subsidiaries and local administrative associations, and whose activities are interrupted or that are unable to operate are exempt from paying their leases for the duration of their inability to operate. In addition, municipalities are able to postpone for three months the water bills of residences and of workplaces whose activities were interrupted or that are unable to operate. The city council can extend the postponement period for up to six months.
  • Municipalities, provincial special administrations, provincial special administrations’ subsidiaries and local administrative associations can postpone the collection of sale fees, occupancy fees and leases of their own immovable properties for their tenants and owners whose activities or operations were not interrupted. The institutions can postpone the fees occurred for three months starting from March 19, 2020. The Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning or the Ministry of Interior can extend this postponement period up to six months, and the receivables are collected at the end of the postponement period. The institutions collect the monthly payment incurred during the postponement period, but do not charge interest or delay interest.
  • The Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning can postpone the contractual fees and occupancy fees for the treasury’s immovable properties for April, May and June 2020. The Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning can extend the postponement period up to six months and the receivables are collected at the end of the postponement period. The institutions collect the monthly payment incurred during the postponement period, but do not charge interest or delay interest.
  • The Law also includes measure for tourism. Travel agencies do not have to pay the 2020 subscription fee for the Travel Agencies Association. In addition, the Law allows travel agencies to transfer their operation licenses.

Conclusion

The amendments aim to prevent cash flow problems that may arise due to the COVID-19 pandemic by providing various lease and lease-related payment postponements and cancellations to businesses affected by the pandemic. The amendments are important for many sectors, especially for tourism facilities located in the southern Turkey.

Please stay up to date with further developments through the Esin Attorney Partnership Coronavirus Helpdesk.