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Housebuyers told to appoint own lawyers

The Star 5/04/2004

Petaling Jaya: All house buyers should appoint their own lawyers, Bar Council of Malaysia president Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari said.

He said this was to ensure that the rights of the purchasers were protected.

"We urge housebuyers not to appoint lawyers who are on the panel of property developers or referred to by real estate agents.

"We recommend that purchasers appoint their own lawyers," said Kuthubul Zaman.

He added that the council would also like to remind its members not to offer discounts on conveyancing fees when processing sale and purchase agreements and other related matters.

Currently, some real estate agents and negotiators are said to work with certain lawyers who offered attractive discounts on conveyancing fees to property buyers.

This in turn enabled the real estate agent or negotiator to arrange free legal representation for the vendors.

According to Kuthubul Zaman, a lawyer cannot embark on such arrangement, as he could only act for either the vendor or the purchaser, and not both parties at the same time.

Kuthubul Zaman said the Bar Council had also passed a resolution to increase the scale fees for conveyancing, which will require amendments to the Solicitors' Remuneration Order.

"We will request for the Solicitors Costs Committee to be convened to consider and approve the appropriate amendments," he said, adding that the move further reiterated the 'no-discount-rule' for all conveyancing fees.

Kuthubul Zaman said the Bar Council hoped that those who were aware of such practices among lawyers would come forward to report the matter to them.


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