Thursday, 28 March 2013

Property Registration: Indah Water and Penang Municipal Council

Administrative articles are often dull but, like many uninteresting things in life, the issues have to be attended to and it's often easier to tackle things like this in different countries if you have an idea what to do in advance.  This article covers the two administrative issues of registering property ownership with your local council (here in Penang it's Majis Perbandran Pulau Pinang or MPPP), responsible for issuing an 'Annual Assessment' (a local tax on your property), and Indah Water, responsible for sewerage services. While this article is really Penang specific, the principles will apply wherever you are in Malaysia.

In some cases, when you purchase a new apartment (e.g. not sub-sale from a previous owner) most of the registrations that you need with various utilities and such like will be done for you.  It will of course be up to you to arrange services such as telephone, internet and satellite TV.  Even when buying sub-sale it may well be that your agent (if you used one), depending on how professional and helpful they are, will arrange connection to mains electricity (TNB) and mains water (PBA).  Two services that are easy to overlook however are the local council and Indah Water.  The amount of your council 'Assessment' will vary with the value of the property and AFAIK the invoices in all cases are issued twice a year with payment deadlines being 28 February and 31 August.  Indah's sewerage services are generally priced the same at around RM 8 per month, again, invoices mostly being issued twice a year.

When you purchase your property it may be that your lawyer will register the change of ownership with these two services on your behalf, often though this does not happen.  It should not be an issue however as even if the change has not been registered you will still receive the bills.  The staff at both agencies are very helpful however and it's easy enough to check whether your ownership has been registered, and indeed what payments are outstanding or when they are next due, at the email addresses in the following links:

MPPP E-mail

Indah Water E-mail

If your ownership of the property has not been registered it can be amended very easily. In both cases all you will need is a copy of your 'Sales and Purchase Agreement' (SPA).

The MPPP main office in Penang is situated at Komtar in Georgetown.  To change your details here you take your SPA together with some form of ID (passport or driving licence) to the reception area that is between the two rooms of counters in the MPPP offices on the ground floor.  Go to the security desk and tell them you need to register a change of ownership.  Once you hand over your ID you will be given a pass which will allow you to take the lift to the 12th floor.  Here you will find the registration office and the very helpful staff there will assist you to complete the required single form (which is in Bahasa Malay).  Once you hand over your SPA, that's it, no ID is required.  In due course you will receive a notification that you have been registered as the new owner.  If there is any outstanding amount to be paid in terms of the assessment you can pay it by going back to the ground floor and taking a ticket for the payment counters which are to the right of the central reception desks.  Once paid you will be issued with a receipt.  I would suggest avoiding paying close to the payment deadlines as it gets very busy at these times.  You can pay any bill due and also in advance if you wish.  I pay for a whole year, one less thing to worry about.  MPPP also have an office at PISA but I'm not sure if you can change your registration details here or if it's merely a payment office.
Indah Water - Georgetown

Indah Water in Penang is located in Victoria Street in Georgetown, adjacent to the Pos Laju parcel handling centre.  The process here is even easier.  Merely go into the office to the desks on the right and the staff will take your copy SPA and update the system.  Any bills due can be settled at the cash desk to the left in the office and again, you can make advance payments.  A receipt will be issued once you have paid and the change in ownership will be picked up with the next billing cycle.

That's it, done.  Quite simple really, more so if you know what to expect in advance, and two more admin jobs off the list of things to do.

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