We hear of many property deals that have gone sour because proper legal advice wasn’t sought when purchasing property. So why should you use one?

We hear of many property deals that have gone sour because proper legal advice wasn’t sought when purchasing property. So why should you use one?

Lulled by the many property abroad programmes, newspaper articles, cheap UK loans and the charm of Turkey many novice investors have come to Turkey with plans to make a fortune in the emerging property market.  Many of the TV programmes and press articles make the complicated task look so easy. Visit the country for a week, tour around and you’ll find your dream property. But what the programmes don’t show is the practical side of buying abroad, the dangers and the things buyers need to do minimise risk such as employing a good lawyer.

Most property buyers in the UK buy property using a mortgage to fund their purchase and this provides a great deal of protection for the buyer. The lenders insist that certain processes and checks must be completed before funds are released to ensure the property purchased is sound, legal and value for money. This involves using a lawyer for the conveyance and a surveyor to check out the property and ensure it is valued correctly.

But when buying in Turkey many foreign purchasers don’t use a lawyer. But why? Well our straw poll found the following:

1. They aren’t forced to because they are cash buyers and there’s no mortgage company checking the property;
2. The seller or estate agent says you don’t need to waste your money on a lawyer;
3. The fear of additional purchase costs.

But, as more and more foreign property owners are finding, they now wish they had used a lawyer when their dream purchase later develops legal, planning or ownership problems, structural defects or turns out to be worth much less than they paid for it. You only need to look through our Legal Q&A section to see the volume of legal problems arising relating to property ranging from illegally built properties through to ‘charges’ on property deeds that new owners were unaware of when they purchased.

But many of these problems could have been avoided if the buyers had just used an good ‘independant’ lawyer. For £500 most lawyers will carry out a full conveyance service for any property buyer. This will involve the following:

1. A full check of the deeds at the Tapu office. This check can now only be carried out by registered lawyers
2. Check of planning permissions, building permits, sitting permissions, tax due, outstanding fees, electricity and water supplies, if you have sitting tenants and more.
3. The drawing up of a detailed purchase contract with the seller including payments terms, currency type, fixtures and fittings and other things included in the sale,

So, if you plan to buy a property in Turkey use a lawyer – you know it makes sense.

In a future article we’ll look at how to find a suitable lawyer to help you through your purchase.