I. What is the Turnkey Report in Turkey?
In the return of leased apartments or commercial spaces, many tenants and landlords hand over the keys without issuing a written document. In fact, often the keys are left with a real estate agent or someone other than the landlord.
According to our legal system, the mere proof of transfer of physical possession to the other party is not considered sufficient to establish that the leased property has been returned. In the return of a leased apartment, residence, commercial space, or movable property, a turnkey report should be prepared. Otherwise, it will not be assumed that the leased property has been returned, and it will be presumed that the lease relationship continues.
II. How to Prepare a Turnkey Report?
In the turnkey report to be prepared for the delivery of the leased property, it is sufficient to write that the keys belonging to the leased property have been returned to the landlord or their agent or authorized representative, along with the date. In this way, the tenant can prove that they have fulfilled their obligation to return the leased property. Additionally, the turnkey report may include the following elements:
- The start date of the lease agreement, indicating that the contract has been mutually terminated by the landlord and tenant.
- Confirmation that the leased property has been jointly inspected by the tenant and landlord, confirming whether it is in a painted or unpainted condition, clean, and vacant.
- Verification of the inventory list as specified in the lease agreement, including any necessary amendments.
- If a security deposit was provided by the tenant at the beginning of the lease relationship, confirmation of whether this deposit has been returned or the date on which it will be returned.
- Agreements between the parties regarding any legal proceedings such as execution proceedings, eviction lawsuits, rent determination lawsuits, etc.
- How any remaining rent arrears of the tenant will be settled or what will happen with any overpaid rent by the tenant.
III. What Happens If a Turnkey Report Is Not Prepared?
In cases where a turnkey report is not prepared, if a dispute arises between the landlord and tenant regarding whether the leased property has been returned, the burden of proving that the property has been returned lies with the tenant. If the tenant does not receive a written handover protocol from the landlord or their agent or authorized representative, it is assumed that the lease relationship continues.
If the lease relationship does not end with a handover protocol, the tenant’s obligation to pay rent will continue. In this case, the tenant may face execution or a lawsuit based on rent arrears for the property they are not using.
For the landlord, not having a handover protocol presents a significant legal risk. This is because if the landlord cannot prove that the property has been returned by the tenant, they may face allegations of violating the inviolability of the residence, theft, or misuse of trust.
If the tenant wishes to return the leased apartment or commercial space but the landlord avoids signing a turnkey report, a request for the determination of a location for depositing the keys should be made to the court.
As stated in the decision of the General Assembly of the Court of Cassation’s 2013/583 File and 2014/269 Decision dated 12/03/2014: “…The dispute between the parties is whether the leased property has been vacated and, if so, on which date the keys were handed over. It is necessary for the tenant to prove that the keys to the leased property were handed over. The defendant claimed that he vacated the property on 02.10.2010 and handed over the keys to the plaintiff on 09.10.2010, but he could not substantiate this claim with a written document.“
IV. Turnkey Report Example
Memduh Remzi BAL
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