What is a Title Deed?


The title deed is a written and official document, which is considered valid in the legal field until any irregularity is proven, issued by the Land Registry Directorate, which indicates the ownership of the structure built on the land or part of the land. Every property has a title deed. All the information about the property is contained in this title deed document.

In Turkey, this is called a TAPU and there are two different types of title deeds. These are the blue tapu and the red tapu. Before getting to the differences between the red and blue title deeds, let’s explain the title deed itself more.

The title deed shows the name and surname of the owner of the property. There is also a photograph of the owner of the house. This document is therefore proof of a person's ownership of a property. Apart from this, a title deed document refers to the specific characteristics of the property. These are details about the size of the property, its type, how many rooms it has, etc.

Finally, a title deed contains the declared value of the property. The declared value may be lower than the actual value. The reason for this is to try and reduce the tax payable. If this is discovered by government officials, the penalties can be severe as it is a criminal offense.

In Turkey, any transfer of property ownership must be done at a tapu office (land registry office) and supervised by a tapu officer. The new owner must obtain their tapu as proof of ownership.

If you're considering buying property in Turkey, it's important to make sure you get the right tapu and that all the information on it is accurate. Consider taking legal advice to guide you through the process.

What are the Types of Title Deeds?

There are 3 different types of title deeds, apart from the blue and the red ones. These are;

  • Kat Mülkiyetli Tapu; This type of title deed is used in real estate whose construction is completed and divided into independent sections. Each independent section is registered as a separate ownership unit and the names of the owners are included in the title deed document.
  • Kat İrtifaklı Tapu: This type of title deed, which is used for buildings that have not been completed or are still under construction, refers to properties where an easement has been created. The building is registered at the Land Registry and the details of the freehold are registered in the name of the freeholder.
  • Hisseli Tapu; It is a type of title deed that shows the ownership of a property shared by more than one person. The share deed lists the names of the shareholders but does not specify which share belongs to whom. In this case, the division is made by agreement between the shareholders.

What is a Blue Title Deed?

The blue title deed, also known as “mülkiyet tapusu”, usually represents a plot of land. The title deed document showing the ownership of a plot of land is blue.

Blue framed deeds indicate ownership of the land and state that the land has not been transferred to a freehold. This means that no building or structure has yet been constructed on the land.

What is a Red Title Deed?

Red title deeds usually represent the independent sections of buildings. These title deeds show that there are independent sections approved in the property project.

The red title deed also indicates the areas of use and shares of the independent sections. Title deeds in this color indicate ownership of properties such as apartments, workplaces, or independent residential units.

How to Get the Title Deed?

Title deed transfer procedures are carried out at the Land Registry offices. The documents required for the title deed transfer process are prepared and the title deed fee is paid. A title deed appointment is then made by calling 181 from your mobile phone or using the e-appointment systems of the land registry offices.

On the day of the appointment, the buyer and seller can go to the Land Registry office where the property is registered and transfer the title deed.

There are some necessary documents for the transfer of Tapu. These are;

  • Identity documents of the buyer and seller
  • TCIP Compulsory Earthquake Insurance of the Property
  • Property Tax Certificate
  • 2 photographs of the person who bought the house

Provided all the documents are completed, the process of transferring the title deeds is usually completed within 1 day of the appointed date.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Title Deed?

Acquiring a property in Turkey is a significant milestone, and securing the title deed, the official document that verifies ownership is a crucial step in this process. While the journey to homeownership is filled with excitement, it's essential to understand the associated costs, including title deed fees.

In Turkey, the title transfer process involves a fee calculated at 2% of the declared sale price of the property, typically shared equally between the buyer and seller. However, for newly constructed apartments, the buyer often bears the entire 4% fee. This variation arises from the fact that the original developer usually pays the title deed fees for the entire project, and these costs are incorporated into the sales price of individual units.

It's important to note that these fees are distinct from the property purchase tax, which is also levied on real estate transactions. The property purchase tax is calculated based on the property's declared value and ranges from 3% to 4%, depending on the property's location and type.

Understanding these fees and their applicability is crucial for both buyers and sellers to ensure a smooth and transparent transaction. By factoring in these costs upfront, individuals can make informed decisions and avoid any surprises along the way.

Checkıng the Title Deed Records of a Property

One of the reasons for checking the title deeds is to see if the seller is the legal owner of the property. Another is that the records can show if there are any outstanding liens, mortgages, or debts against the property. If these exist and are not settled before you buy the property, you may be responsible for them. So make sure you check the records by applying to the provincial directorates of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation. By applying to the Land Registry and Licensing Branch Directorate within the Directorate, you can obtain information about the title deed you want.