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The Difference Between Individual and Strata Title

Individual vs Strata Title

Heard about strata title but not sure when it applies and what it implies? Confused by all the legal jargon? We ask Joseph Ooi of law firm Sidek, Teoh, Wong & Dennis to explain the difference between individual and strata title:

“In general, an individual title is for a property which has its own land and this usually means that the land itself is owned by the proprietor. Strata titles are generally for properties in a multi-storey building and this usually means that the land belongs to the proprietors from the time of the multi-storey building.

Whilst properties which have their own land will be issued with individual titles, the owner of a unit in a multi-storey building (e.g. apartment, flat, condominium, townhouse, office or even shoplot) will have their right of ownership of the unit they purchased. Every owner will have their share of the land/building which is stated as Unit Share in their Strata Title when issued based on the built-up size of their unit.

It can take years for a strata title to be issued by the relevant authorities. Pending the issuance of the strata title, the owner of a unit can still sell or assign their unit and the non-availability of the strata title does not in any way affect the owner’s right to their unit.

For the sale of a property with individual title the transfer instrument is in Form 14A as prescribed in the Malaysian National Land Code 1965. As for the legal charge of the property with individual title by the owner to his financier Form 16A is applicable. Both the transfer and the charge will involve the land office and the instruments must be presented to the land office for registration.

For property with a strata title still to be issued a deed of assignment is executed to buy a property (if the seller is not the developer, i.e. a sub-sale) or to give security for a loan. A deed of assignment transfers all rights, title, and interests in respect of the property and under the previous sale and purchase agreement to the purchaser. Likewise for an owner to provide the security over the property to his financier, a deed of assignment assigns all rights, title, and interests in respect of the property and under the previous sale and purchase agreement to the owner’s financier. Once the strata title to the unit has been issued, the owner will transfer and/or charge his unit in the same way as a property with individual title.”