In the video titled “Rental House” in Chapter 4, we tried to emphasize the expressions and behaviors used in house hunting, renting and realtor dialogues.
In the survey we conducted, one of the most popular responses was about Turkish people being very helpful. The surveyed participants expressed the following comments while talking about the Turkish people’s efforts in helping people, especially foreigners:
“If you ask for directions to a Turkish person, they not only give you directions, but they might take you to there.”
“When you ask for directions of a certain place, and if they don’t know it, they’ll make sure they find someone who does.”
“When you ask a Turkish person about some place, they not only show you the place, but tell you everything they know about it.”
As can be seen from these responses, Turkish people love helping find directions, they in fact take it as their duty. Especially when a foreigner asks to find some place, they hate saying “I don’t know” and feel apologetic for being unable to help. I know for a fact that many of my foreigner friends found themselves escorted to the address they were looking for.
This is also true if a Turkish person is asking for directions, not just a foreigner. Of course those who are not accustomed to such behavior may find this odd or uncomfortable.
At the Realtor
The process of house hunting, renting or purchasing in Turkey is in fact similar to many other countries.
However, before starting the subject, we should explain the concepts of “ev” (house), “apartman” (apartment) and “daire” (flat). In Turkish, the word “apartman” is used for multistory buildings composed of “daire”s. “Ev” on the other hand is a word that is used for the place a person lives, just like “home” in English.
Turkish people used to live in large single-story or duplex or triplex houses with an extended family, but kept up with economic and social changes in time, and now live in apartments as nuclear families.
In Turkey, multistory buildings began to emerge at the end of 19th century, and these buildings changed and varied in time. The rise in the population in Turkey and migration of the majority of this population to metropolis due to economic reasons necessitates living in apartments. For instance, according to the last census (31.12.2017) the population of Turkey is 80.810.525 whereas the population of Istanbul only is 14,804,116. In other words, 18.6% of Turkey’s population lives in Istanbul.1 The population density in other metropolis (such as Izmir, Ankara etc.), although not as high as Istanbul, is still striking.
Both the population increase and the lack of land caused more and higher apartment buildings to be built. In recent times, “site” (apartment complexes) composed of a number of apartments became a popular choice for people living in cities. Composed of flats with different sizes, these complexes usually have various amenities such as parking spaces, gyms and swimming pools which cause city dwellers to prefer this type of accommodation.
Detached houses on the other hand are both a rarity and an extremely expensive option in cities. Since it’s necessary to utilize land efficiently, it is not quite possible to see detached houses in big cities of Turkey. People who desire such houses need to move farther away from city centers. In villages or small towns where land is plentiful, it is possible to see a variety of detached houses, however in recent years, it’s safe to say apartment living is getting more widespread in Turkey.
To circle back to the house hunting and renting subjects – in the video you watched, you might have noticed some questions and expressions in the dialogue between the realtor and the customer.
Naturally, when looking for a rental house, the person has some criteria based on his or her needs. The most important issue is of course the location. In the video, a student is looking for a house, so the house needs to be close to school or public transport. Apart from this, being new, being on an intermediate floor and having a heating system are among the most sought after properties in house hunting.
As in many other places, a contract is drawn between the landlord and the tenant when renting a house in Turkey, and the rent increase rate for the following years as well as renting conditions are specified in this document. Usually the rents are paid monthly, but sometimes the landlord may ask annual payments. In Turkey, the landlords usually demand a deposit equal to one month’s rent in advance. For furnished apartments, this deposit may be higher. If there is no damage to the house after the tenant vacates the apartment, then they get this deposit back. As in every other place, realtors ask a certain fee for the houses they rented.
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