Apartment maintenance fees straining households’ budget

Apartment maintenance fees straining households’ budget

Apartment maintenance fees straining households’ budget

High monthly maintenance fees paid for residential properties are becoming a big headache for occupants and landlords alike in many cities across Türkiye, but particularly in Istanbul.

The service and maintenance fee, called “aidat” in Turkish, is a regular payment for the apartments’ common expenses, such as elevator maintenance, the building’s electricity costs and salary of superintendents.

Over the past year, those fees have started to strain households’ budget, especially tenants as they have already been struggling to keep up with rising rents.

The fees have been on the rise due to the higher minimum wage which directly affected the cost of employing superintendents as well as the increases in the prices of the services received.

Poor property management appears to be another reason for the skyrocketing costs, say experts.

Maintenance fees have increased between 40 percent to 154 percent in Istanbul over the past year, according to research conducted by real estate appraisal company EVA Gayrimenkul.

The increase in fees is around 170 percent since January 2022, when the annual inflation started to pick up.

The highest maintenance fees are in Istanbul’s Beşiktaş district, said Serkan Bal at EVA Gayrimenkul.

“The average maintenance fee for a 100 square meter apartment in Beşiktaş is 2,900 Turkish Liras ($108),” he said.

In the districts of Şişli and Kadıköy the average fees are around 2,450 liras and 1,800 liras, respectively, according to Bal.

In the district of Üsküdar, the maintenance fees soared 169 percent between January 2022 and August 2023 to 1,800 liras on average, while in upscale Ataşehir the increase was 160 percent to 1,950.

The average maintenance fee for a 100 square meter apartment in Istanbul is at least 500 liras, according to the research.

A workshop will be organized later this month in the province of Sakarya with the participation of representatives from the public and private institutions to discuss criteria to be set for property management companies, said Suat Sandalcı, the president of the Türkiye Urban Facility Management Association (TRKTYD).

According to the new rules under consideration, facility management companies will be required to have a license, he said. A new software will be introduced, which will help the related ministries monitor and inspect those management companies, Sandalcı added.

“New rules and inspections will prevent arbitrary increases in maintenance fees and those fees will be under control,” he said, noting that expectations for introducing a flat fee is not doable since costs vary from building to building.