Today begins our journey to locate an unfurnished apartment to rent in Antalya. We have been renting a furnished apartment located in Kaleici. Although the fully furnished apartment and location were the perfect place to start as an expat in Turkey, it is time for us to begin building our nest with our furnishings.
We started by researching the different neighborhoods throughout Antalya, a city of 2.5 million people. After deciding on our neighborhood (Lara), it was time to start collecting real estate listings and phone numbers which are posted on banners on the outside of the building.
Here are some recommendations to do before you begin your search:
- Budget: Decide on what you want to spend a month.
- Amenities: What are the amenities of the neighborhood you want nearby such as walking trail, park, restaurants, grocery store, etc.?
- Apartment: Decide what floor level you feel most comfortable with, some buildings are 20+ floors high.
- Furnishings: Decide on a budget for furnishing your apartment.
- Most apartments here do not come with appliances, lighting, window blinds/curtains.
- Timeframe: Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to locate the ideal apartment.
- Furniture delivery takes approximately 4-8 weeks. This process took us more than four months!
Speak with an Expat or Expert
When we began the process of looking to rent an unfurnished apartment we started asking expats about their experiences and recommendations. Depending on how long the expat has been living in Turkey, rules may have changed in rental requirements so it is good to reach out to a professional. We met Christopher with Ikamet who shared with us the documentation required to lease an apartment and other significant information.
Best Place to Look for Property
In addition to driving around the area to look for rental apartments (Kiralik means rental), we used several websites to identify suitable properties.
Sahibinden – this is an app you can download to your phone or view on the computer. It took me a while to learn how to navigate the system. You will need to understand the neighborhoods within the neighborhoods.
- For example, Antalya is the district, Murtpasa is the city, Lara is the city’s region, and Fener is the neighborhood.
Facebook has several groups such as Buy/Sell/Rent/Trade Antalya or Properties for rent and sale in Antalya.
Emlakjet – This is an app or can be viewed computer. This App is similar in functionality to Sahibinden.
Real Estate Agent – connect with a “trusted” agent to locate properties for you that fit your criteria and who will provide you links to view them on your device.
Watch Purchasing Property and learn more from two experts in the Real Estate market, Cameron Deggin, and Alaattin Kilic, who talk about Antalya’s property market.
Selecting a Real Estate Agent
As we began our search, we did not have a real estate agent. We quickly discovered that getting access to properties is challenging compared to what we had experienced in the U.S.A. I highly encourage you to ask around to find a real estate agent you can trust.
Real Estate agents are not regulated like they are in the U.S.A. You want an agent with 5-10 years’ experience, who can speak your language if you don’t speak Turkish, knows the area in which you want to live and communicates promptly.
All real estate agents are paid by commission. As a foreigner, the agent or property owner most likely will want a year’s rental payment in advance. Typically, real estate agents will only show you properties within their assigned neighborhoods. For example, suppose you’re going to look at property in Lara and Konyaalti. In that case, she/he will only be able to show you in the locality where the agent is currently working but will connect you with a partner agency for the other location.
We connected with a fantastic real estate agent, Dilara Deger, who works for Riba Yatirim Gayrimenkul. She was so patient in showing us properties, always with a smile on her face. Dilara spoke fairly good English which made it easy to communicate. Finding an agent that is helpful and resourceful will also make your transition go smoothly. Dilara connected us with a manager of an appliance store and the owner of a perde (curtains) store to help us get items we needed for our new flat.
Turkey’s real estate market does not operate through a multiple listing service. The difference is that when you want to see a property, the agent has to contact the owner or the listing agent for such property, who will then meet you and the agent there to give you access.
The lease agreement will be in Turkish. You will need to get the agent to have it translated into English. Make sure that the contract states information accurately (paying a year in advance, etc.). You will need to have the landlord sign it, you sign it (as well as your spouse or partner). Make sure your wife is on the contract as well. Notarize your rental agreement so that you have the proper documents for the bank and residency permit applications.
Landlord and Building Manager
It is essential once you select the apartment you want to rent to meet with the landlord. The meeting typically occurs when you meet to sign the contract, but some landlords will send a real estate agent as a representative.
Most buildings have a Kapici (doorman) on-site, and therefore, an additional monthly fee (called aydat) to pay the doorman to keep the building surroundings clean and safe. This fee ranges from approximately 200 – 500 TL a month. The Aydat is usually processed through a bank transfer. However, the landlord or the agent will provide you with pertinent information on processing the fee.
Remodeling or Painting
Be sure to obtain your landlord’s approval before you embark on any changes in the apartment.
Utilities/Internet & Cable TV
Typically, these services are paid for by the tenant. However, check with your agent or landlord to determine if the services are included in your rent. You may be required to set-up your account with each of the utility providers.
Furnishings You Will Need to Consider
What’s included in your rental agreement is entirely different from what I am accustomed to in the U.S.A. In Turkey, you are only renting the space. The tenant owns all the other items within the apartment. Here are things you will need to consider when renting an unfurnished apartment:
- Air Conditioning
Also, you will need to purchase all the living room, bedroom furniture as well as electronics.
I recommend you rent a furnished apartment for one year. This will give you time to decide if Antalya is the city for you, and will also enable you to explore other neighborhoods within it. If you decide to stay in Antalya then you might want to consider renting or buying an unfurnished apartment.
Learning the country’s rules and requirements for renting property can be challenging. Gathering as much information as you can before you start the process makes the transition go much more smoothly. Allowing ourselves a year by renting a furnished apartment, gave us time to discover and learn the city as well as meet with other expats and experts who provided us valuable information about renting or buying properties in Antalya.
If you have more questions about renting an unfurnished apartment in Antalya please send questions in the comments section below and I will do my best to answer or guide you in the right direction.
Enjoy your travels! Please read my blogs about other exciting places around the world at Traveling Lens Photography.
Inshallah (God willing!)