If you have purchased your Property in cash or if you have fully settled your loan with a Financier, the Financier or the Financier Solicitor would have returned a set of original documents to you; which also includes arguably the most important document of all, your Original Title.
You might be wondering why it is important to have the original title kept by you.
Our land ownership in Peninsula Malaysia is governed by the National Land Code 1965 which uses the “Torrens System”. This means that every ownership of property is evidenced by having one’s name registered on the property title. So, if you wish to dispose your Property, the original title needs to be surrendered to the purchaser or the purchaser’s bank.
What happens if you have searched high and low for your Original Title and now it’s nowhere to be found?
Fret not, here are some steps on how you can get a replacement of the Original Title from the land office: –
- Search for your “property title details” which can usually be found in the Sale and Purchase Agreement (“SPA”), or loan documents. Note: this is not the same as your property’s postal address;
- If you do not have the property title details; request for the same from the solicitors who have helped you with the previous transaction;
- Once you have located the property title details, make a police report at the nearest police station that you have lost your original property title. Note that the police are merely there to record the occurrence of the loss, and are not obliged to help you with anything more;
- Ensure that all the particulars such as the property owner’s name & identity card (both, if there are 2 owners), postal address of the Property of the lost title, and the title details are correctly and mentioned in full. This is to ensure the Land Office not reject the police report. The police report needs to be a certified true copy;
- Prepare a statutory declaration for the missing Original Title. Thereafter, get it affirmed with a commissioner for oaths and stamped at Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri (“LHDN”) for a nominal fee;
- Before you can submit the police report and the statutory declaration at the Land Office, you may need to do an official land search with the Land Office;
- Once you have received the official land search, you may now submit your request together with the other related documents i.e. police report, statutory declaration, latest paid quit rent, latest paid assessment receipt, a certified true copy of your identity card and a nominal fee for the application.
What happens if you are not the owner of the Property? Perhaps the Property is owned by your parents, or husband, or wife?
You are still able to assist the relevant party to submit the application for the replacement of the Original Title by doing these extra few steps: –
- Provide a copy of the duly affirmed and stamped letter of authorization by the Property owner in allowing you to do the application;
- Provide a copy of the duly affirmed and stamped representative statutory declaration; and
- Bring your identity card for bio metric verification during the submission of documents at the Land Office.
You will not be able to collect the replacement title immediately. The duration for the lost title replacement usually takes about 3-6 months before you can collect it.
This article was written by Shawn Ho (Partner) & Suzanne Fam (Senior Associate) from the corporate practice group of Donovan & Ho. Shawn leads the corporate practice group of Donovan & Ho, and has been recognised as a Notable Practitioner, whilst the firm has been recognised as a Notable Firm for Corporate and M&A by Asialaw Profiles 2020. We are also ranked a Recommended Firm by IFLR1000 for 2020.
Our corporate practice group advises on corporate acquisitions, restructuring exercises, joint venture arrangements, shareholder agreements, employee share options and franchise businesses, Malaysia start-up founders and can assist with venture capital funds in Seed, Series A & B funding rounds. We also advise on property transactions and real-estate related tax planning. Feel free to contact us if you have any queries