Chapter 6: Power of Attorney
Power of Attorney (PA) is a power given by the land owners to someone to act on behalf of the owner including signing all documents, transfer, caveat, charge etc (if full power is given).
Power of Attorney has its pros and cons.
10acres land with 10 owners. As we all know, the more owner co-owning a piece of land, the more problem would arise in later days. So to avoid any problems arising in the future, a PA is given to one of the owners or someone else (trust by all) to act behalf for all of them in respect of selling price or signing all documents or any other legal matters regarding the land.
There are cases that I’ve encounter and one of them is such case whereby 3 owners want to sell their 5acres land. 2 agree on the selling price that I’ve offer, but the other one is reluctant to sell it off. So ding ding dong dong, the two owners needs cash for their children education but they cannot reach to an agreement with the 3rd owner to sell the land off. So now, they are fighting over each other. If they would have given the PA to the 1st or 2nd owner, the problem is solve.
Excercise caution and do your own due diligence when you are giving PA. The power can be abuse by the Power Attorney holder. One case that I’ve encounter (happen to my friend), he gave a full PA to his brother. His brother sign a charge document with the bank and borrow a sum of money. Only when the bank wants to foreclosure his land, then he found out what his brother did.
So, in a nut shell, please do an official search when you want to buy land with power of attorney. Do see if the power of attorney documents is register at court and land office. If it is not, find out the land owner and ask him/her/them to sign all the security documents to prevent fraud.
Note: Power of Attorney granted to to a non-native in relation to Native Title land or Malay Reserve land is null and void. Therefore any transaction done thereafter is illegal. *I deem Malay Reserve is the same as Native Title, since owning the title is restricted for Malay and Native.
Disclaimer: The article above is solely for reference purpose and any legal issue please consult a lawyer for proper legal advices.