|Information on land title||Notes|
|Full title details of landowner||This includes name, IC number and last registered address.|
|Type of title||
-Master Title (land that has not been subdivided, usually owned by the property developer);
|Title number||A unique number that identifies a land/property title.|
|Size and location of land/property||Land size (for Final Titles only) and location details (state, district, town and lot number).|
|Purpose of land||Indicates what the land can be used for, whether agricultural, industrial, commercial or residential.|
|Status of title||Land can either be freehold (the land is owned indefinitely by the landowner) or leasehold (the land is leased from the state for a specified period of time not exceeding 99 years).|
|Tenure of the land (if leasehold)||The title will indicate how long the lease is. Buyers should check how long is left on the lease because the shorter the remaining time is, the harder it will be to get financing from the bank and the less it will appreciate in the long term.|
|The current registered landowners with IC numbers||A search on a Master title will not have the name of the owner on it or show whether there are any encumbrances on the property. To ascertain this information, one would have to write to the developer of the property to obtain the information.|
|Restrictions in interest||Mostly applicable to leasehold land as any change of ownership requires the consent of the State Authority.|
|Current encumbrance(s)||This includes a caveat or a charge (to a bank) and any previous encumbrance which is invalid.|
|Previous title details||Contains the previous land title number and is useful when looking for documents connected to the old title number.|
When buying a property, most people will think first about putting that down payment, getting a home loan and signing the Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA). One important document that is often overlooked is the land title. We detail what homebuyers need to know about a property title search.
A land title is a legal document issued by the Malaysian government through the Land Office that details the rightful owner of a piece of land or property. Under the National Land Code 1965, you will need a land title to own land. If you don’t have a land title with your name on it, then you don’t own the land the property sits on.
Land registration in Malaysia is based on the Torrens System, where there is one central land register (the Land and Mines Office) that has information on every piece of land and its owner.
When the land or property changes owners, there must be a transfer of ownership. If you are buying a subsale property, the land title will be transferred from the existing owner (the seller) to the new owner (the buyer). For new developments, the developer holds a master title which will then be divided into individual titles or strata titles and transferred to the new owners.
You can get information on any piece of land in Malaysia by conducting a land title search.
What is a land title search?
A land title search is a process of finding out the details and status of a piece of land – whether an individual title or master title – and is usually done by related parties dealing with the sale and purchase of a property. A land title search must be done at the Land Office of the state where the land is located.
What information can be obtained from a land search?
What types of land title searches are there?
There are three types of land search:
- Private land search (carian persendirian): A black and white printout issued by the respective Land Office
- Official land search (carian rasmi): A black and white printout with Land Registrar stamp and officer’s signature on the last page which is used as supporting documents for government agency submission
- Certified true copy (CTC) land search: A copy of the original title which is a certified true copy by the Land Registrar
Why is a land title search important?
You would normally check a product before you buy it even if it’s just an apple from the supermarket, so why wouldn’t you check the land details before buying a property costing hundreds of thousands of ringgits? Conducting a land title search will get you the details of the land, including who the current owner is.
Before you purchase the property, you would want to know if the property is currently charged to a bank or if there are any caveats on the property. Caveats can prevent the property from being transferred or sold. Usually, a caveat is entered by a purchaser of a property after the signing of the Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) to prevent the owner from selling the said property to another party before vacant possession. Other situations where a caveat may be entered are when a beneficiary of a property wants to prevent the property from being sold by a trustee or when a co-owner of a property wants to prevent the other owner/s from selling the property, maybe due to a personal dispute.
More importantly, you will not be able to sell or transfer your property without a land title.
How to conduct a land title search in Malaysia
Conducting a land title search is not that difficult and there are several ways to do it.
Visit the Land Office
You just need to go to the Land Office with the land title number, which you can get from the original title, quit rent bill or proclamations of sale. Remember to go to the right Land Office! For example, if the land is located in Kuala Lumpur, then you will have to go to the Kuala Lumpur Land Office, which is part of the Federal Territories Director of Lands and Mines Office. If the land is located in Sarawak, then you will need to go to the Sarawak Land Office, also known as the Sarawak Land and Survey Department. You will need to pay a disbursement fee to the Land Office and this varies for the Land Offices in different states.
Most law firms provide this service. You will have to pay a fee on top of the disbursement fee incurred. If you already have a lawyer representing you for your property purchase, conducting a land search will be part of the services.
Companies such as EasyLaw will do this for a fee, on top of the disbursement fee incurred. The advantage of getting them to do it is that you would not have to travel to the Land Office yourself, especially if the land is located outside of your state of residence. The transaction can be done online through the EasyLaw portal.
Many Land Offices now have online services available and you can conduct a private land search and make the payment through their website. For example, if you want to conduct a search through the Kuala Lumpur Land Office, you can do so on their e-Tanah portal by first creating an account. They provide step-by-step instructions on what to do, including making the payment for the disbursement fee.
Here’s what you would have to do:
- Register yourself as a user. You will be asked to provide your personal details, including a copy of your IC.
- Once you have created an account, log in with your credentials.
- Click on “e-Carian Persendirian”.
- Choose “Hakmilik Tanah” or “Hakmilik Strata” (land title or strata title).
- Key in the details of the land title (Bandar/Pekan/Mukim, Jenis Hakmilik and Nombor Hakmilik)
- If the details entered are correct, a table with the ID Hakmilik and fees will be displayed.
- Make the payment either through FPX or credit card.
- You will get a copy of the land title search and a payment receipt.
In Pahang, homebuyers can utilise the Pahang Go app available on Google Play Store to conduct a land title search. After downloading the app, click on PTG and you only need to key in details on the chosen district and lot number. This feature which allows the public to make an official and private search for land titles online is among the first of its kind in Malaysia’s land administration system.
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What is the cost to conduct a land title search?
If you are doing it on your own at the Land Office, you will just have to pay the relevant disbursement fee, which differs by state. Here’s the table of fees as provided by EasyLaw.
|State in Malaysia||Cost of land title search|
No refund for Tak Wujud/Batal (non-existent/cancelled) land search due to the Land Office’s rule.
When engaging someone to do it for you, you will have to pay a fee on top of the disbursement fee to the Land Office. Below are the fees charged by EasyLaw:
|Type of search||Local charges||Outstation charges|
|Private||RM30 for Selangor
RM20 all other states
If you are engaging lawyers to conduct a land search for you, they would typically charge between RM50 to RM100 on top of the disbursement fee.
Documents required for a land title search
All you need to do a land title search are the following information, which can be obtained from the original title, quit rent bill or proclamation of sale:
- Title number
- Title type
How long does it take to conduct a land search?
If you are using a Land Office’s online portal (those who have the service), you can get the information you want immediately. It is the same if you personally go to a Land Office (plus your travelling and waiting time).
The estimated turnaround times for EasyLaw’s services are:
- 3-5 working days for private land search
- 14 working days for official land search
- More than 14 working days for the CTC title
Tips for buyers who are looking to ease the land search process
Conducting a land search is quite a simple process and can be done at the Land Office in person. If the Land Office you are conducting your search at has an online service, you won’t even need to leave your house. If it does not – and if the Land Office is in another state – it might be worth engaging the services of a law firm or EasyLaw to get it done for you.
Make sure you have all the information needed for the search. As stated on the EasyLaw website, you can’t use the property’s postal address to conduct a land search. You also can’t do a reverse search by using someone’s name and IC number.
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