Illegitimate real estate agents are causing losses amounting to hundreds of thousands of Turkish lira for the government while also harming customers. The chairman of the Istanbul Real Estate Brokers and Consultants Trade Chamber, Nizameddin Aşa, spoke with Anadolu Agency (AA) about the illegal real estate agencies and brokers.
Aşa said the managers of housing estates, doormen and janitors - in short, people willing to make illegal profits - are acting as real estate agents and victimizing the citizens. While there are only 10,000 real estate agencies registered to the chamber and around 4,000 to 5,000 tax certificates, there are more than 100,000 real estate agencies. Although the Customs and Trade Ministry can fine any illegal agencies TL 19,000 ($6,500), the main complaint is the down payment individuals supposedly have to make - as people who receive the down payments from potential buyers disappear without completing the deal and do not return the down payments. The second major problem, according to Aşa, is defective goods and services. "They try to hide for example leaks on the walls with paint or by putting a wardrobe in front of it. At the first sight of rain, the roof collapses and leaks into the house. Or sometimes home owners hand over their keys thinking that they are dealing with a real estate broker but then discover there has been a tenant living in their property for two months without their knowledge," Aşa said. He also stressed that while there are many concerns and complaints regarding real estate agencies, the biggest problem is fake and illegal real estate agents.