Law No. 7471 on the Amendment of the Law on the Transformation of Areas Under Disaster Risk, Certain Laws and Decree Law No. 375 (“Law No. 7471“) was published in the Official Gazette dated 9 November 2023 and numbered 32364. Law No. 7471 is available here (in Turkish).
What does Law No. 7471 introduce?
Law No. 7471 has introduced significant amendments to Law No. 6306 on the Transformation of Areas Under Disaster Risk (“Law No. 6306“), including, most importantly, the redefinition of reserve building areas, inspection, evacuation and demolition of risky buildings. These amendments are summarized below:
Authorization of the General Directorate of Urban Transformation
With the new regulation, the General Directorate of Urban Transformation, established under the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change, has been authorized to carry out the processes under Law No. 6306, especially in terms of the determination, inspection and evacuation of risky buildings.
Redefinition of the concept of “reserve building area”
Prior to the amendment, the areas defined as “reserve building areas” where the transformation practices under Law 6306 are carried out were limited to new settlement areas only. With Law No. 7471, this limitation is removed, and existing settlements are now included in the areas to be used for transformation practices.
Reduction of the quorum for the decisions to be taken by the owners regarding the actions on the transformation of the building under risk
The decisions regarding the procedures to be carried out before the demolition of the risky building must be taken with the affirmative vote of those who have the absolute majority of the ownership shares on the relevant building. Prior to the amendment, the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the ownership shares was required. The amendment is intended to facilitate the consensus among the shareholders required to take various decisions related to the transformation of the risky building, such as the merger of parcels, the sale of ownership shares and the reconstruction of the building.
Granting of a maximum period of 90 days to the owners for the demolition of risky buildings
The building owners will be given a maximum of 90 days for the demolition of the building determined to be risky, and the evacuation and demolition processes must be carried out within this period. If evacuation or demolition is prevented, the building will be demolished by evacuating people and goods from the relevant building in accordance with the written permission of the local administrative authority and with the assistance of law enforcement personnel.
Authorization of the Provincial Directorates of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change for handling the announcement and objection processes of zoning and parceling plans in reserve building areas
The Provincial Directorates of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change will announce the approved zoning and parceling plans for reserve building areas and will evaluate the objections to these plans within their own organization.
Determination of the aid to be provided within the scope of practices in reserve building areas by the President
Law No. 7471 states that the demolition of the risky building or other practices will be carried out primarily by agreement with the owners. Accordingly, it is regulated that temporary housing or workplace or rental assistance or even construction assistance can be provided to the building owners, tenants and holders of limited rights in rem, actually residing in the building, all of whom voluntarily agree to evacuate the risky building. The details of how this assistance will be provided are left to a later regulation to be issued by the President.
Imposition of a contractual obligation on the beneficiaries, while determining their ownership over the new buildings to be constructed
Within the scope of Law No. 6306, the value of the ownership of the new buildings to be granted to the beneficiary in exchange for the buildings to be transformed will be determined by taking into account the value of the beneficiary’s existing property and the value of the housing or workplace to be granted to the beneficiary. If the value of the immovable to be built is greater, the beneficiary will be placed under a contractual debt, and the ownership of the property will not be transferred to the beneficiary until this contractual debt has been paid in full.
Law No. 7471 has introduced important changes and reforms to the legislation on the transformation of areas under disaster risks. With the removal of the limitations on the “reserve building area”, it is now possible to carry out transformation practices in existing settlements, such as demolition, sale of ownership shares and rebuilding. The quorum for the decisions to be taken by the property owners to take the necessary actions regarding these practices has been rearranged to require an absolute majority of the ownership shares in the relevant building. A secondary regulation is expected to be issued to determine the relevant obligations and procedures in relation to the above amendments.