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How Well Do you Know Your Geran (Land Titles)?

BY Philippe Andrews

Updated 03 Feb 2021

Regardless of where you are in Malaysia, if you own any form of property or land, you should also be in possession of a Land Title — otherwise referred to in Malay as a “geran” — for that property or land.

Why? Well, your Land Title is the certificate you’re given by the Malaysian government through the Land Office or Land Registry to prove that you are the rightful owner of a property or a piece of land. Without it, you’ll have a hard time making any legal property claims.

However, to say that a Land Title is simply another boring official document that you will only need if you face legal troubles is a huge mistake. In fact, despite how familiar some of us may be with the concept of a Land Title, many Malaysians are still considerably clueless when it comes to reading and understanding the contents of such documents.

Are you such a Malaysian? Take a look at our list below of some of the most important parts of a Malaysian Land Title — and you’ll have your answer in no time.

What's covered in this article?

Image source: Durian Property

1. Type of Land Title

Any Land Title will begin by indicating the nature of the ownership of a property or land. This includes whether the title is a Qualified Title (for pieces of land without specific measurements) or a Final Title (for pieces of land that have specific and finalised measurements).

Your Land Title will also fall into one of the following categories:
  • Master Title: The title given to owners of the land that have not been divided into specific properties
  • Individual Title: The title given to owners of specific landed properties
  • Strata Title: The title given to owners of units in high-rise buildings like apartments and condominiums
It is important to know what type of title you own at any given time so that you are aware of any discrepancies between the type indicated in your certificate and your actual property.


2.  Title or Ownership Number

This refers to the section of your Land Title which usually carries terms like ‘No. Hakmilik’ and ‘No. H.S.(M)’. It describes the unique number of that Land Title, and is regarded as the identification number of your document, just like an IC is used to determine any Malaysian’s identity.


3. Property Size and Location

If your title is a Final Title (as explained in Item #1 above), it will contain the specific size of your property or land, along with the Lot Number of the land that the property sits on or that of the land itself.

These details are commonly grouped together with the exact location of your property or land, along with an indication as to what the land is being used for. Generally speaking, the use of land in Malaysian Land Titles is divided into three categories: agriculture (pertanian), building (bangunan) and industrial (industri).

It is good to note that the location of your property or land will also usually be divided into three categories, namely, the state, the district, and the town, township, or Mukim that it is based in.


4. Freehold vs. Leasehold

Naturally, your Land Title should also indicate whether the property you own is under a Freehold or Leasehold arrangement.

Freehold ownership is indefinite in nature, with the owner having complete power to transfer his or her ownership to another party. Leasehold ownership, on the other hand, maintains that the land or property belongs to the government and will only be valid for a specific amount of time.


5. Ownership conditions

Another major component of your Land Title would be the conditions under which the property or land or question is being owned. 

This includes conditions like the usage of the land or property for strictly industrial or residential purposes or the condition that it is to be owned only by Malaysians with Bumiputera status.

These conditions must be stated explicitly and clearly in the Land Title, as they capture the agreement through which you obtained your property or land and further affirm that your ownership is legal.


6. Layout and dimensions

Land Titles normally come to a conclusion by providing a visual depiction of the layout and the dimensions of the property or land that they belong to. This cross-section will specifically show the size of the property or land in terms of square feet.


Time to look at your Land Title again

Now that you have a better picture of what you can find in your Land Title, it would be a good idea to go through and understand the document on your own. Familiarise yourself with your own Land Title — because it would be rather odd for the owner of land or property to not know the details of his ownership, wouldn’t it?

More importantly, while a large part of being Malaysian involves taking life at a relaxed and enjoyable pace, you certainly shouldn’t use this as an excuse to know your Land Title only when it’s needed!


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About the Author

Philippe Andrews


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