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Iskan, the "approval as housing” of your villa or appartmenent in Turkey

What is the Iskan?

Anyone who has ever been involved in real estate in Turkey knows that the Tapu is the most important document in the purchase process of an apartment or villa in Turkey. Lesser known – but certainly not less important – is the Iskan. The Iskan is actually the "residential permit", the "approval as housing” or "authorization to use" the property. Those are a bit weird expressions, but basically it comes down to these meanings. The Iskan means that the property has been approved by the official authorities to be used as specified in the building permit. The Iskan gives the permission to "use", to inhabit the building; and confirms that the building has been constructed in accordance to the building regulations, that the social contributions of the workers were paid and so on. One of the objectives of the Iskan is to combat undeclared work; and it still happens – even nowadays – that an Iskan will not be issued because the social contributions were not paid by the construction company.

There used to be two types of Iskan: Genel Iskan and Ferdi Iskan. The Genel Iskan was a document which stated that the building was approved by the government for use according to the terms mentioned on the building permit, and also says that the construction company is expected to complete all formalities to obtain the Iskan (and to comply with all regulations). This didn’t mean it also actually happened ... Therefore it was necessary to obtain the Ferdi Iskan afterwards. The Ferdi Iskan is a kind of “Identity Card” of the property, whereby the owner was supposed to fulfil the necessary formalities and to show that everything was in order. That this often caused problems goes without saying ...

Iskan: the certificate with the official "approval as housing” of your property

The result of this system was, that, for decades, the Iskan was controlled rarely by the government nor the buyer (it didn’t make much sense to check it since it was rarely in order ...). This led to the rather absurd situation that almost approximately 70% of the buildings in Turkey had no Iskan. This situation was good for both project developers and buyers; because due to the absence of the Iskan; the cadastral value was much lower, which in itself had the consequence that the annual real estate tax was also low. The system of a much too low cadastral value is indeed still common in Turkey, which has the advantage that you pay just a very small amount for your annual property tax in Turkey.

What is so important about the Iskan?

Slowly but surely, the laws got stringent, the procedures got more tightened, and even more and more conditions were imposed. This has paid off, and since 2014, the contractors are required to comply with the regulations; and only one type of Iskan is issued now, which is simply called Iskan. At the same time, with the introduction of the new regulations for the general Iskan; the controls were increased. Nowadays, it is impossible for connecting the utilities such as water and electricity without Iskan. This is, of course, a big threat: who wants to buy a property in Turkey without Iskan; which means you can’t get water, gas or electricity for your home ...

RealProinvest only works with 100% reliable developers

Unfortunately, developers were not exactly queuing up to apply the new regulations and there is still real estate for sale in Turkey that does not meet the new requirements;  and consequently has no Iskan. It is therefore of utmost importance for yourself that you – when buying property in Turkey – appeals to a professional agency like RealProinvest; which verify’s all documents such as Iskan and Tapu thoroughly, before including those properties in its portfolio. We refuse any property to be included in our portfolio, which official documents such as the Tapu and Iskan are not 100% in order. We work only with reliable developers who enjoy an excellent reputation, which means that neither you or us will get any unpleasant surprises …