Rental contracts typically specify when and how rental payments should be made. So, if the due date for rent payment is not clearly stated in the lease agreement, when should rent be paid?
This article provides general information about when rental payments should be made and outlines the potential rights of landlords and tenants in case of rent delays.
I. Is there a Clause in the Lease Agreement Regarding Rent Payment Date?
Most lease agreements include a specific clause regarding when rental payments are due. This clause is binding for the parties to the lease agreement. For example:
Rent payments are to be made between the 1st and 5th day of each month. No later than the 5th day of each month. Additionally, rental payments will be made to the designated bank account between the 15th and 20th of the month, as specified in the agreement. Such clauses may be included in the lease agreement.
When the due date for rent payment is clearly specified in the contract using a “specific term,” the tenant is required to make the rent payment within that timeframe.
To illustrate, consider a lease agreement starting on November 15, 2023, with a clause specifying that rent is due no later than the 5th day of each month. According to this clause, the tenant must pay the rent for December 2023 by December 5, 2023. Similarly, the rent for January 2024 must be paid by January 5, 2024.
The start date of the lease agreement does not affect the rent payment deadline. For instance, if the agreement is signed on the 20th of the month, it does not imply that rent payments should be made by the 20th of each month. The crucial factor is the presence of a clause specifying the rent payment due date.
II. What If the Lease Agreement Doesn’t Include a Specific Clause for Rent Payment Date?
When there is no explicit clause in the lease agreement regarding the due date for rent payment, other terms in the agreement should be examined.
According to the Court of Cassation, if the lease agreement states that the rent will be paid “in advance” without specifying a payment date, it should be understood that the first three days of each month are intended. If the lease agreement stipulates that rental payments will be made “annually/in advance” the rent for each renewed period must also be paid in advance within three days from the renewal date.
In the absence of a clause specifying when rent is due, the tenant is obligated to pay the rent at the end of each month. (Turkish Code of Obligations, Article 314)
III. If the Rent Payment Date Falls on a Holiday or Weekend Whether
the lease agreement includes a provision for the rent payment date or not, if the payment date coincides with a holiday or a weekend, the payment period extends to the next working day.
IV. What Can Be Done If a Tenant Pays Rent Late?
If a tenant fails to pay rent at all, initiating legal proceedings for eviction would be appropriate. For detailed information on this topic, you can read our article “What Should Be Done For The Tenant Who Does Not Pay Rent?.”
If a tenant has not paid the rent, the landlord should grant a 30-day period for payment in residential and non-residential lease agreements. It the tenant pays the rent during this period, an eviction lawsuit cannot be filed due to non-payment of rent.
If a tenant delays paying the rent, the landlord has the right to initiate enforcement proceedings (or send a notice) for each overdue rent payment. If a tenant causes at least two justifiable notices due to late rent payments within the same lease period, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit starting from the end of the lease term. However, when filing a lawsuit due to two justified notices, it is important to consider whether the rental claims subject to enforcement are due, whether the tenant made the payment before receiving a notice or enforcement order, etc.
You can read our article on “Eviction Due To Two Valid Notices Under Turkish Law” for detailed information about eviction proceedings based on two valid notices.
A tenant who pays the rent late may also be required to pay interest, attorney fees, and enforcement costs as a result of a valid enforcement process. If the tenant has objected to enforcement due to interest, attorney fees, and enforcement costs after paying the rent, they may also be subject to a penalty of 20% of the enforcement denial due to objection.
Even if a tenant has paid the rent late, if the landlord has not initiated enforcement or sent a notice, and the tenant subsequently pays the rent, no legal action can be taken.
V. What Tenants Subject to Enforcement Proceedings Should Consider
Tenants subject to enforcement proceedings due to delayed rent payment need to be cautious. Even if the rent debt has been paid, unfavorable eviction orders can be issued against the tenant due to proof issues. Therefore, instead of directly objecting to the enforcement process, seeking assistance from a lawyer specializing in rental law is important.
While there may be a risk of losing some money if the landlord is unjustified in their processes, if the tenant cannot prove their case, eviction from the rented property may occur.
Tenants subject to enforcement for non-payment of rent should first ensure they do not miss the objection period. Whether it is a simple rent or revenue rental, or a general enforcement initiated process, the objection period is 7 days from the date of proper notification.
If the objection period has not passed, the tenant should also consider which months the landlord has initiated enforcement for and the amount of rent being claimed. If there are doubts regarding evidence, to eliminate the risk of eviction, the tenant can pay the rent with a “protest reservation” and file a restitution lawsuit to reclaim any excess payments. This is a method frequently used by our tenant clients.
Memduh Remzi BAL
Lawyer / Attorney in Turkey
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