Real property is commonly defined as land and the things permanently attached to the land. Property law in Malaysia is governed by four main piece legislations known as the National Land Code 1965(Act 56 of 1965); the National Land Code ( Penang and Malacca Tiles) Act 1963; the Sarawak Land Code; and Sabah Land Ordinance. The National Land Code 1965 only applicable to Peninsular Malaysia.
The operations of the four pieces of legislation stated above provides for the Torrens system of title registration in Malaysia. The basic principle underlying the Torrens system is that all dealings in land must be registered in order to be effective.
In Malaysia, Property can be classified under three type of land title :
- Freehold – in perpetuity.
- Lease hold – land owned by states and are usually leased for term of 30, 60 or 99 years. Renewal of lease can be done by paying Premium to the State
- Malay Reserve Land- It is only restricted to Bumiputeras for 30, 60 or 99 years. Renewal of lease can be done by paying Premium to the State
Meanwhile there are also other title whereby one should be aware of while dealing with property:
- Master title – It is a title granted by land office once the developer’s gain permission to develop their project on that particular piece of land.
- Strata Title – Strata title is a title structure of ownership for high-rise properties. The Application for strata title by developer is governed under Strata Title Act 1985.
- Individual Title – It is a title structure of ownership for landed properties.
The purchase of land or property in Malaysia may be subject to various restrictions such as the use of land and the need for consent from the State Authority. Due to the complexity of buying land or property in Malaysia, it is advisable that you consult a legal practitioner on the process and the length of time needed to complete the transaction while at the same time ensure that your rights are protected.