Suppose you are moving into a rental property and the gas, electricity, and water are in the owner's name. In that case, you may be inclined to leave utilities as is, but this is an illegal practice that will incur significant fines.
The process of registering utilities in your name may be daunting, but doing so will also provide you with proof of address to assist in your residence appointments. And despite what you may think, it is not that difficult.
Tip: The easiest, though a bit tiring, way to register utilities is to visit the offices of each utility company. You might have to go to different branches for specific processes such as connecting utilities to a house for the first time, but otherwise, this method is the most surefire way to get things done and dusted.
Warning: Before you sign your rental contract, make sure that the previous tenants have no outstanding debts when it comes to utilities, and they effectively end their contracts for these services.
Utility bills for gas, electricity, and water will be left by your meter every month, or you'll see them in your mailbox. You can make the payments through PTT branches (Turkish postal service) at your providers' offices or turn them into automated payments to be deducted from your bank account monthly.
This is the fastest utility to connect to your house, apartment or villa in Turkey and water. It will typically take 1 to 2 days to get it connected.
Documents you'll need:
- Subscription form to be provided by your provider, signed
- A copy of the approved electrical project/project number (onaylı Elektrik projesi)
- A copy of the habitation certificate (iskan)
- Copies of the ownership documents for the property (title-deed/tapu, residence permit/ikametgah, rental lease/Kira kontratı etc.)
- A copy of your ID (passport + Turkish ID number)
- *Foreigners also need to provide their Tax ID to register utilities. Here is how you can get yours.
- A copy of your DASK certificate (compulsory earthquake insurance policy)
- *If you are renting, ask the property owner for a copy before signing your contract. You may also be asked to provide the full name and Turkish ID number of the property owner.
- Cash (safest option – to cover security deposits and other service fees) or credit/debit card
- Your subscription/installation number (can be found on your meter or a previous bill)
- *You will need this if the property already had these services connected.
You might be requested to pay a deposit for connecting the electricity, gas, and water. The amount is determined according to your average consumption or an estimate based on the number of electrical sockets. The minimum fee based on 5 kW for residential properties is TL 165, but the average is around TL 198 for 6 kW You will also be paying "cutting-connection" fees of TL 37.3 TL per transaction, as well as stamp tax and filing fees, the latter of which is determined by your provider and are non-refundable.
When you sell your place or move, the security deposit will be refunded to you via the IBAN you provided when you first went to register it in your name.
***If you are moving into a place that was already inhabited, your connecting costs will be less.
Water in Turkey is supplied by the local municipality (belediye), and water usage is metered with a cubic meter of water costing TL 4. Bills are issued monthly or bimonthly, based on your overall consumption. The water bill also includes a type of environmental tax called "çevre temizlik vergisi.” You can pay your bills either at the municipality's water office or by direct debit through some banks.
***You will need the same documents mentioned above, and do not forget your meter number (abonelik numarası). The number is listed on the water meter or electric, which will be located either outside of your house or on the ground floor of your apartment. When in doubt, take a photo of it.
After visiting the water office with these documents and paying the necessary fees, TL 120-135 for a refundable security deposit, a TL 209 water participation (su iştirak) fee, and a TL 166,41 channel participation (Kanal iştirak) fee.
In most cases, personnel from these service providers will visit your house later the same day or the next day to connect water, electricity etc.
If you live in bigger cities such as Istanbul or Ankara, there will be natural gas lines. You will need to open a new account in your name with the local gas company. If it is a new property, you will need a Gas Compliance Certificate (Doğalgaz Uygunluk Belgesi) to connect to the mains after an inspection. For more information, ask your local gas distribution office.
If you live in a "site" (apartment or residential complex), you may also have a monthly "aidat" for maintenance that may also include a fixed fee for gas. At the end of the year or every quarter, the managing persons or company may give you refunds or ask for more money to cover your consumption costs.
If you don't have gas lines and live in a city like Muğla, for example, you will have to buy natural gas (LPG) in bottles (tüp gaz). You can buy these from local providers who will have them delivered to you free of charge and connect them safely. Cards or cash are accepted as payment.
If you want to connect both landline and internet to your new home, you should try Türk Telekom. Combined packages are usually cheaper but will come with a 2-year contract as a drawback.
You should first ask the company if your house has the necessary wiring to accommodate these services, for which they will send a representative for inspection. After that, all you need to do is go back to the office and choose an appropriate package/payment plan that fits your needs. A technician will come with a modem in 2 to 3 days to activate your line and connect you to the internet.
However, if your house does not have wiring that connects to the local/national grid, you'll have to get a few neighbors' approval and signatures to make an application. Expect to wait about a month or more.
All internet providers in Turkey offer ADSL connections, but the fibre network is only available in larger municipalities.
If you would like to apply for fibre optic internet (faster than Super Online, Türksat, or Kablonet/Uydunet), you could try Türk Telekom's TTnet. Before making an application, research your area to see if they have laid down the necessary infrastructure to support these services.
If you want internet on-the-go, you might want to invest in mobile Wi-Fi, offered by Türk Telekom, Turkcell, and Vodafone. This is not a cost-effective solution in the long-term.