legal fees proposed
KUALA LUMPUR, Tues. - Housebuyers may soon have to pay a few
thousand ringgit more in legal fees.
proposal to raise the fees was approved at the recent Malaysian Bar
annual general meeting, and is now before the Chief Justice.
Bar Council vice-chairman Yeo Yang Poh said the council had written
to the CJ, who is expected to fix a date for the Bar Solicitors'
Committee to decide on the proposal.
He was confident that the increase would be
supported. The 11,000 Bar members approved the resolution at
an AGM in March. The last adjustment in conveyancing fees was
approved in 1991.
The proposal is a one per cent charge for the first RM500,000 and
0.8 per cent for the next RM500,000. This means the legal fee for a RM1 million home
would be RM9,000, up from the present RM5,500.
Buyers at present pay RM1,500 in legal fees for a
RM200,000 home, but under the proposed revision, it will cost RM500
However, purchasers of houses valued at RM30,000
and below would have to pay a flat rate of RM200 for the drawing-up
of sale and purchase agreements, and RM80 for transfer forms.
Lawyer Derrek Fernandez, a member of the council's
sub-committee on Conveyancing Practice, Corporate and Banking Law,
said the cost of "professionally attending" to such low-cost houses
far exceeded the RM120 fee currently charged.
Legal fees for houses valued between RM30,000 and
RM100,000 remain unchanged in the purchase of property under the
Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966.
Another resolution called for the strict
enforcement of the present rule barring members from giving
Fernandez said it was time the rate was revised as
the cost of providing competent legal service had risen because the
sale and purchase of property was not standardised.
Housebuyers' Association of Malaysia secretary-general Chang
Kim Loong has also proposed an alternative scheme of legal fees to
the Bar Solicitors' Costs Committee.
It suggests that buyers of RM42,000 property,
classified as low-cost
homes, be charged a flat rate of RM120. For property exceeding
RM42,000 but under RM200,000, the rate should be RM500, he proposed.
For property above RM200,000 but under RM500,000,
a 50 per cent rebate should be given, he said.