When the property is a duo-key unit, can I sell one of the units to a third party?
Recently I got this interesting question. In fact, years ago I remember that some shops in Tawau was sold like Strata Building despite that the title is one whole unit. Can it be done? Why can’t it be done?
For example, I have a big unit of duo-key condo. This is like a family suite in a hotel. This is like an adjoining land. There is a doorway, and when you close that door, it becomes two separate units. Each unit comes with its toilet and a separate entrance. Can I just sell one of these units separately to my friend? After all, it is like selling a studio unit and left with another with 2 rooms which suits my requirement.
The whole issue of ownership lies with the system of title registration. Our system in West Malaysia and Sarawak is the Torrens System. Which means registration is the final and indefeasible proof of ownership. Without the proprietor’s name being registered with the land registration system in the Land Office, it does not have ownership.
So, because the duo-key unit is under ONE TITLE, the land office will have only ONE title of the unit. When another is “sold”, it is only an agreement between both seller and buyer, and cannot be registered. That means, there is no ultimate ownership of this buyer to the unit he has supposedly purchased. Who would want to purchase something which ultimately has no ownership? It canNOT be done as well under Contracts Act there is also no consideration because nothing is transferred.