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11 Jan
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How to Pay Your Land Rates in Kenya

Owning land in Kenya can be an exciting undertaking. It is a source of joy and a step towards securing your family’s future. As a landowner, you need to know how to pay your land rates and additionally, you need to ensure that the documentation is right and that you adhere to all the set rules and regulation.

The documentation includes: proof of ownership, ensured by having a title deed and your identification documents (national ID or passport).

One such regulation is paying your land rates in time. This article offers you a guide on how to pay your land rates, the difference between land rates and land rent, and the different options you can use to pay your land rates.

What are land rates?

Land rates can be defined as the tax the government imposes on land. The amount to be paid often varies depending on the market value of the land.

Generally, the value of land appreciates as it is serviced with amenities that may include water, streetlights, sewerage system, and better roads.

As the value of the land appreciates, the rates levied on the land also increases.

Just like other types of taxes, land rates are a mean of government financing. In Kenya, land rates are collected by the county. What this means is that the rates on plots are to be paid to the county the plot is located. This applies to land on freehold and on leasehold.

It is worth noting, however, that not all landowners are obligated to pay land rates in Kenya. To be on the safe side, you need to check this with your county government Ministry of Land.

Land Rates and Land Rent

First-time landowner might find it hard to differentiate between lands rates and land rent. Though some people use the words interchangeably, the two are actually not the same thing.

While land rates are charged on each parcel of land and payable to the county government, land rent is imposed on leasehold parcels and is paid to the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning. Land rents are reserved at the time the grant is being issued.

While the county government issues a rates clearance certificate as evidence of payment of land rates, the Ministry of Land issues a rent clearance certificate as evidence of payment of land rent.

land rates in kenya
Land rates receipt form Nairobi County
Land Rates Payment Options

Though the government is adopting online methods to streamline payment and delivery of services, landowners can use other land rates payment options.

Apart from using the online payment platform, you can also pay using:

  1. County government cash office. This is the oldest payment option. It is used by most of the countries across the country. When using this option, make sure you are given a receipt and that the payment is done in the right way.
  2. Bank deposits. With this option, you can make an interbank transfer or deposit directly to the county government bank account. If you choose this option, make sure to indicate the correct account details. You should be able to find the account name, branch name, and the account number of your county on their individual websites.
  3. Online payment option. This is the most convenient option for both land rent and land rates payment. You are required to register for the service before using it. Those in Nairobi can register using their mobile phone or using the county’s online portal. Pay your land rates online through this three simple steps:-
  1. Open the browser and visit ecitizen then sign in or sign up to your registered account. Click on the ministry of Land and Urban housing development to click on the land search.
  2. Then just enter your land title number, fill the online form and then submit it. Confirm the details that have been entered and then proceed for making the payment.
  3. Once the payment has been confirmed then you will have the option of printing the results.
Land Rate Waiver in Kenya

Though property owners are obligated to pay rates based on the market value of their properties, most default, making the counties grapple with huge debts.

The county government imposes penalties and interest to those who fail to remit their land rates on time.

Land rates waivers in Kenya acts a way of whitelisting rates defaulters to entice them to pay.

It is aimed at helping the counties collect on default rates, which is said to be the main reason for poor revenue collection, by most counties.

A land rates waiver often applies for a short period and often affects a certain percentage of the penalties and accrued interest. At times, the county may offer up to 100% waiver on penalties.

As a property owner, you risk being denied loans by major financial institutions for defaulting on your land rates. To avoid all this, pay your land rates in time, in most cases, this is before the end of a county’s financial year (before the end of June).

The process of acquiring land or the various processes involved can be daunting for laymen. Understanding the different classifications of land, what a land search is, or land transfer. Get more details of the different land processes in Kenya.

Would Love to hear your feedback, let us know your experience in the comment section below to help others.

Land and Property

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Comments (2)
  • author
    Phenocryst

    Are we suppose to pay landrates to freehold title deeds too?

    • author
      Sino Soft Classifieds

      Just like other types of taxes, land rates are a mean of government financing. In Kenya, land rates are collected by the county. What this means is that the rates on plots are to be paid to the county the plot is located. This applies to land on freehold and on leasehold.

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