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Registering Property in

Malaysia

Below is a detailed summary of the steps, time and cost involved in registering property in Malaysia. It assumes a standardized case of an entrepreneur who wants to purchase land and a building that is already registered and free of title dispute.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare Malaysia to 189 other economies.

  • Measure of efficiency
    No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
    1

    Lawyer conducts a land title search

    Agency: Land office/Official assignee's office

    The parties will mutually agree on whose solicitors will prepare the sale-purchase agreement.

    The lawyer will usually conduct:

    • Land search

    The lawyer will carry out a search on the document of title to the property at the land registry/land office to ascertain, amongst others, who is the registered proprietor of the property, the category of land use of the property, the conditions to which the property is subject, whether the property is subject to any restrictions, and also whether the property is subject to any encumbrances (charges, caveats).

    1 day RM 30
    * 2

    Lawyer conducts a company search

    Agency: Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (Companies Commission of Malaysia)

    The lawyer will conduct a company search and will check all the information registered on the company and charges registered. It can be completed online.


    Less than a day (Online procedure) RM 12
    * 3

    Lawyer conducts a winding-up search

    Agency: Insolvency Department

    The lawyer will conduct a winding-up/bankruptcy search on the seller with a private company, MYEG in place of Insolvency Department.

    The bankruptcy and winding up search is not required by the Land office or by the law in a property transfer process but it is done as a prudent measure to protect purchaser.

    Less than a day (online procedure) RM 12
    4

    Buyer and seller sign sales-purchase agreement in presence of lawyer and lawyer fills out Form 14A Memorandum of Transfer

    Agency: Lawyer's office

    The Memorandum of Transfer (Form 14A) has to be attested by a licensed professional - can be a lawyer or an official from the land office. This is stated in the National Land Code.

    Documentation shall include:

    • Memorandum of Transfer (Form 14A)

    • Copy of the sale-purchase agreement

    • Copy of title deed

    • Form PDS15 (Stamping Proforma)

    1 day Lawyers' professional fee (not including service tax and disbursements) for preparing sale and purchase agreement and completing the transfer of property is as follows:- For the first RM150,000 of the purchase price - 1% (subject to a minimum fee of RM300.00) For the next RM850,000.00 - 0.7% For the next RM2,000,000.00 - 0.6% For the next RM2,000,000.00 - 0.5% For the next RM2,500,000.00 - 0.4% Where the consideration or adjudicated value is in excess of RM7,500,000.00 - Negotiable on the excess (but shall not exceed 0.4% of such excess)
    5

    Memorandum of Transfer (14A) sent to Stamp Office for adjudication of Stamp Duty and valuation by JPPH

    Agency: Stamp Office assessment and payment system (http://pinharta.hasil.gov.my)

    The valuation department will conduct an inspection to value the property, if required. The inspection is not mandatory to conclude the valuation and it is at the discretion of the valuation department, but in practice, it takes place in the majority of the cases. The Stamp Office will issue a notice of assessment based on the valuation department’s report.
    Submission can be made either manually or online through the website http://pinharta.hasil.gov.my. E-stamping (online) is now available only to legal firms, banks, company secretaries, accounting firms and companies.

    If completed online the submission must include:
    1. The sale-purchase agreement
    2. Copy of the Issue Document of Title (IDT)
    3. Form 14A
    4. Form PDS 15
    5. Other supporting documents

    Once accepted, an adjudication number will be assigned by the system. When the Stamp Office receives the submission, the documents are transferred to JPPH for valuation. When required, a valuation inspection will be made on the property by JPPH. In most of the cases, commercial properties will be assessed. The JPPH will prepare a valuation report which is sent to the Stamp Office. The applicant will be able to follow the status of the adjudication online.

    1 - 8 days (online) or up to 20 days manually no cost
    6

    Payment of stamp duty and stamping of Form 14A

    Agency: Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (IRBM)

    Stamp duty must then be paid to the Stamp Office, based on the Notice of Assessment, within fourteen (14) days from the date of such notice or the period indicated by the Collector of Stamp Duty. Usually the Collector will give thirty (30) days from the date of such notice to pay the stamp duty. This Procedure may take one day if the purchaser or purchaser’s lawyer goes personally. Otherwise it can take up to 5-7 days for the Memorandum of Transfer to be endorsed and be ready for collection. Payment may also be made electronically via Financial Processing Exchange (FPX), or at the Stamp Office.

    The documentation shall include:

    - Form 14A (Memorandum of Transfer)

    - Notice of Assessment Form PDS 3

    1 day 1% on first RM 100,000, 2% on excess of RM 100,000 up to RM 500,000 and 3% on excess over RM 500,000 (Stamp duty)
    7

    The transfer is registered at the Land Office/Registry

    Agency: Land Office/Registry

    The purchaser’s lawyer presents the duly stamped Memorandum of Transfer (Form 14A) for registration at the Land Office/Registry. This must be done within three months from the date of the Memorandum of Transfer (Form 14A) which is usually dated when it is submitted for adjudication. A title search is conducted just prior to presentation to ensure that there are no encumbrances or restraint against dealings which may hinder the registration of the Memorandum of Transfer (Form 14A). The documentation shall include: • Copies of Quit rent and Assessment receipts • Certified true copies of the Memorandum and Articles of Association, Form 24 (Return on Allotment of Shares), Form 49 (Return Giving Particulars in Register of Directors, Managers and Secretaries and Changes of Particulars) of the Purchaser and Vendor • Certified true copies of the Vendor’s and Purchaser’s board resolutions giving authority to sell and purchase the property respectively • Search report on the Purchaser as extracted from the Companies Commission of Malaysia • Duly stamped Memorandum of Transfer (Form 14A) • Copy of Notice of Assessment bearing Stamp Office’s endorsement that ad valorem stamp duty has been paid (obtained in Procedure 3) • Original of the title document After submission, the applicants get the “presentation receipt” the same day. It gives the time of submission and that is the time of legal “registration”. The computerized system at the Land Registry also immediately tags the land as ‘pending transfer’ and hence anyone conducting a land search on theproperty will be aware of encumbrances (if any). However, the “presentation receipt” is sufficient for Banks to release the loan.

    3 to 4 days RM 100 (registration fee) + RM 30 (search fee)
    8

    Update the name of the buyer at the Municipality

    Agency: Kuala Lumpur City Hall

    In law, both the seller and buyer will have to update the name of the property owner at the Kuala Lumpur City Hall.


    (a) Pursuant to Section 160(1) of the Local Government Act, 1976, (“LGA”) it is the duty of a vendor and purchaser within three (3) months after the sale or transfer of a rateable holding to give notice of such sale or transfer thereof to the local authority in Form I of the First Schedule to the LGA; and

    (b) Pursuant to Section 160(6) of the LGA, every person failing to give any notice shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding RM2,000.00 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six (6) months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

    1 day No charge

    * Takes place simultaneously with previous procedure.

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Quality of the land administration index (0-30) 27.5
    Reliability of infrastructure index (0-8) 7.0
    What is the institution in charge of immovable property registration? Land Office under Jabatan Ketua Pengarah Tanah dan Galian (Department of Director General of Land and Mines)
    In what format are the majority of title or deed records kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Computer/Fully digital 2.0
    Is there an electronic database for checking for encumbrances (liens, mortgages, restrictions and the like)? Yes 1.0
    In what format are the majority of maps of land plots kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Computer/Fully digital 2.0
    Is there an electronic database for recording boundaries, checking plans and providing cadastral information (geographic information system)? Yes 1.0
    Is the information recorded by the immovable property registration agency and the cadastral or mapping agency kept in a single database, in different but linked databases or in separate databases? Separate databases 0.0
    Do the immovable property registration agency and cadastral or mapping agency use the same identification number for properties? Yes 1.0
    Transparency of information index (0–6) 5.5
    Who is able to obtain information on land ownership at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city? Anyone who pays the official fee 1.0
    Is the list of documents that are required to complete any type of property transaction made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://www.ptgwp.gov.my/english.php/pages/view/219
    Is the applicable fee schedule for any property transaction at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://www.ptgwp.gov.my/english.php/pages/view/219
    Does the agency in charge of immovable property registration commit to delivering a legally binding document that proves property ownership within a specific time frame–and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://www.ptgwp.gov.my/english.php/pages/view/7
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the agency in charge of immovable property registration? Yes 1.0
    Are there publicly available official statistics tracking the number of transactions at the immovable property registration agency? No 0.0
    Number of property transfers in the largest business city in 2015:
    Who is able to consult maps of land plots in the largest business city? Anyone who pays the official fee 0.5
    Is the applicable fee schedule for accessing maps of land plots made publicly available—and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://www.jupem.gov.my/wp/my/produk-perkhidmatan/jenis-perkhidmatan-kadar/
    Does the cadastral or mapping agency commit to delivering an updated map within a specific time frame—and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: https://www.jupem.gov.my/index.php?action=piagam-pelanggan
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the cadastral or mapping agency? Yes 0.5
    Geographic coverage index (0–8) 8.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy formally registered at the immovable property registry? Yes 2.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city formally registered at the immovable property registry? Yes 2.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy mapped? Yes 2.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city mapped? Yes 2.0
    Land dispute resolution index (0–8) 7.0
    Does the law require that all property sale transactions be registered at the immovable property registry to make them opposable to third parties? Yes 1.5
    Is the system of immovable property registration subject to a state or private guarantee? Yes 0.5
    Is there a specific compensation mechanism to cover for losses incurred by parties who engaged in good faith in a property transaction based on erroneous information certified by the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Does the legal system require a control of legality of the documents necessary for a property transaction (e.g., checking the compliance of contracts with requirements of the law)? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for checking the legality of the documents? Lawyer.
    Does the legal system require verification of the identity of the parties to a property transaction? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for verifying the identity of the parties? Lawyer.
    Is there a national database to verify the accuracy of identity documents? Yes 1.0
    For a standard land dispute between two local businesses over tenure rights of a property worth 50 times gross national income (GNI) per capita and located in the largest business city, what court would be in charge of the case in the first instance? High Court of Malaysia
    How long does it take on average to obtain a decision from the first-instance court for such a case (without appeal)? Less than a year 3.0
    Are there any statistics on the number of land disputes in the first instance? No 0.0
    Number of land disputes in the largest business city in 2015:
    Equal access to property rights index (-2–0) 0.0
    Do unmarried men and unmarried women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0
    Do married men and married women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0