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Chop, chop, chop (the 2nd part of our blog post dealing with costs of renting in Malayisa)

In our previous blog post we have mentioned what housing costs apart from the rent you need to consider when living in Malaysia. In this post we add one more expense of renting - it has to do with one of Malaysia's favourite habits: chopping. Many documents need for their validity one chop or another. 'To chop' means 'to stamp'. And in the case of contracts, the stamp needs to come from the Income Tax department (HASIL). Why is it so important? If a contract has not been stamped by HASIL, it is not enforceable in court.

So every tenancy agreement has to be stamped and a stamp duty has to be paid to the government. In Malaysia it is up to the tenant to pay for the stamp duty. And the stamping has to happen within 30 days of the date of the agreement. If you bring it for stamping too late you will incurr a penalty.

To avoid the penalty it is adviseable to go to the HASIL office, fill in the relevant form, pay the stamp duty and have the agreement stamped - all within 30 days from the agreement.

The amount of stamp duty depends on the amount of rent and the term of the tenenacy:


The result has to be multiplied by the term of the tenancy, however in a modified way: multiply with 1 if for 1 year, multiply with 2 if for 2 or 3 years and multiply with 4 for 4 years and more.

The actual stamp duty has only to be paid for the first copy, the second copy only costs a flat fee of RM 10.

Happy calculating! And here the guideline from HASIL:

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