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Newcomers guide on finding flat & related services (Istanbul)

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Dear IN-Community

This guide is designed to make the process for expats of settling in in Istanbul a bit easier. I will improve the guide based on feedback/input from this community. Anyway, we need to start some place. Here we go:

1. USE EMLAK (REAL ESTATE AGENT) OR DO IT YOURSELF?
2. WHERE CAN I FIND FLATS ADVERTISED?
3. DO’s & DON'Ts IN A RENTAL CONTRACT
4. WHAT COST ARE INCLUDED IN RENTAL FEE?
5. WHERE CAN I FIND BASIC SERVICE PROVIDERS LIKE WATER/TV ETC?
6. WHERE CAN I GET FOOD/DRINKS DELIVERED TO MY FLAT?
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1. USE EMLAK (real estate agent) OR DO IT YOURSELF?
My advice is: If you are renting and tight on budget, do it yourself (but bring a friend who speaks Turkish). For a discussion on the pros and cons of using Emlaks, go here: Protected content

2. WHERE CAN I FIND FLATS ADVERTISED?
In addition to this housing forum, you have sites with ads here (also in English)
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You find both furnished and unfurnished flats.

3. DO’s & DON'Ts IN A RENTAL CONTRACT
About content in a long term (>6 months) rental contract:
DO’s:
- If desirable, request for a short notice period (<one month). Note however, many may require that you pay for the committed period if you intent to leave earlier.
- Deposits are normal - range from Protected content

DONT'S:
- Accept increase surprise increase in rentals. Increases in rentals are set yearly (each January) by the government.

4. WHAT COST ARE INCLUDED IN RENTAL FEE?
What costs are included in the price you are quoted when renting:
Included (usually) in addition to house rent:
- Public taxes/fees
- Home owner insurance
- Insurance for furniture (if furnished)

NOT included (usually):
- Heating/Electricity/Hot water
- Common costs to building (door man, cleaning common areas)
- Landline phone/Internet/Cable TV/Drinking water/ Cooking gas
If there is central heating, the bills are Protected content % higher winter time compared with summer time due to heating cost. This cost tends to be fairly transparent - ask your landlord to give you an overview of last year’s monthly costs so you can calculate total rental cost.
A note on monthly price: The initial price quote can always be negotiated. Range is Protected content % reduction, but it depends.

5. WHERE CAN I FIND BASIC SERVICE PROVIDERS?
Your service needs (note that it may take some time for you to establish the customer relationship and get everything delivered. As always in Turkey - have some patience.)
Drinking water:
Protected content - customer service: Protected content
Cable TV:
Protected content - customer service: Protected content
Gas:
Protected content customer service: Protected content
Phone (landline – for internet): (Will be provided soon)
ADSL/Internet:
Protected content customer service: Protected content
Mobile ADSL (in this case you do not need landline):
Turkcell has something called WINN (plug straight into PC/MAC).
Price for 3 months with 10Giga was 147TL as of 15th May Protected content . I guess you may find cheaper solutions. It took 30 minutes to set up this solution. If you are staying in Turkey just for Protected content , mobile ADSL may be a good solution.

Disclaimer: I do not know if the above mentioned service providers are the best (quality/ cost/ delivery). They are the once I currently use. I will set up Protected content for each of these large service providers when they are suggested by others in the IN community.

6a. WHERE CAN I GET FOOD DELIVERED TO MY FLAT?
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Fantastic website to order online! Great customer service. Your can pay cash or with card when food is delivered at your door.

6b. WHERE CAN I GET DRINKS/SIGARETTS ETC: 24/7?
Late night party and out of cigarettes/wine/spirits?
Protected content (delivery service in Levent).
Call 24/7 on Protected content if the value of your purchases is above XX TL.
I assume there are similar local services around on both Asian and European side,

Input to improving this guide:
Are there other points that I should include in this “finding and settling in your flat” guide”? Other expats who arrive in Istanbul the coming years really would appreciate your input/comments.

Thank you

Per

PS: If you do not want to post in the thread, but still want to make a comment or suggest improvements/additions, please email Protected content

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