When dealing with prospective tenants and their real estate agents you will quickly notice that no one trusts you. No matter where you come from, what your profession is or how reliable you might seem, you constantly have to earn peoples´ trust.
If you want to let property this may cause delays and interruptions. Be patient. Remember how cautious you were with your property´s previous owner and his real estate agent? Now it´s your turn to be on the receiving end.
Remember that as a foreigner, people will trust you even less.
Avoid stereotyping Turks as bad tenants, or trying extra hard to rent to foreigners thinking that they will make better tenants. Foreigners can make terrible tenants, too, and unlike most Turks, they have a habit of boarding airplanes and leaving Turkey forever. This could stick you with unpaid rent and property damages, with no choice but to pay the bills yourself.
Represent your property with a reliable real estate agent from a large company. These agents are often experienced in screening tenants and should be able to help you avoid most troublemakers. Nonetheless, you should meet with every prospective tenant personally, too.
Rental contracts and deposits
Have your lawyer draft a rental contract and include a list of all furnishings in the apartment (kitchen furniture, heating system, shower cabin). If this strikes you as excessive, remember that it is standard procedure in Turkish rental contracts. Also keep in mind that tenants have been known to strip apartments clean of furnishings (including sinks and doors) and then disappear.
Get a full 2 or 3 months rent as a deposit from tenants. This discourages misbehavior and provides you with some financial security if things go wrong.
While this might seem like a grim assessment of the letting business, you should remember that every landlord takes the same risks, and that most have more than one horror story. If you take the time to carefully screen your tenants and use a qualified real estate agent, you will minimize your risks. If you don´t handle risk well, don´t let property in Turkey!