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23 Oct
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The Legal Process of Buying a Land in Kenya

Everyone has a right to own a land in Kenya under Kenyan constitution 2010, however there is laid down measures one must follow. It is not only required by law but also to limit you from falling into hands of scammers.

Below are steps to follow;

1. Identify the Land of your Choice

Based on your interests such as purpose, size and location, you are supposed to identify the land as part of your very first step. Some lands are residential while others are commercial or both.

2. Do a Search at the Land Registry

The next step is to acquire a copy of the title deed of the land you plan to purchase, a copy of identity card and a copy of the KRA Pin of the seller. After, you visit Land registry of your land location.

At the Land registry, you will be given a Search Application Form which you will fill in and attach copies of the Title Deed, Identification Card & KRA pin. The process is free of charge and it takes a maximum of 2 working days to get the feedback.

This step is very vital because you will know the real owner of the land, the plot size and impediment attached to the land.

Read more; All the Land Processes in Kenya

3. Confirm any Unpaid Land Rates

Upon doing a search, you should now ensure there is no debt in Land rates connected to the Land you plan to buy. This can be carried out by doing Land Search at the County Offices where the Land is located. The search has a fee which changes from county to county. It is advisable to discuss with the seller who is to cover these costs in case there is unsettled Land rates.

4. Get the Land Map

You are supposed to get at least 2 land maps for the land you plan to buy from the Land Registry or from a Local Surveyor. One map is provided to scale indicating precise measurements of the land or mutations while the second one will provide a summary of the land together with its neighboring plots. Each map will cost you around Ksh300-350.

5. Land Verification

This steps helps you authenticate everything on the Land Map. Most people tend to assume this step due to different reasons like trusting the seller which eventually results to problem when it is too late. It is crucial to verify everything then proceed to put together beacons to prevent any future disagreements.

6. Sale Agreement

After doing thorough check out of all above steps, the buyer and seller can now write a sale agreement which is carried out by a qualified lawyer. It contains all the elements that will guide you in the entire process such as price, method of payment and mode of payment either cash, cheque etc.

It is very key since it will protect you legally in the event that any party fails to respect any part of the agreement. The cost of sales agreement generally changes with the value of the land and it's physical location.

Read more; Authentication of Documents Procedure and Scedule in Kenya

7. Land Control Board Clearance

It is great to acquire clearance from the Land Control Board which consists of the County Commissioners and the elders of the area based on your land location. The clearance ensures the land transaction and transfer was clear and no illegality was involved. The board meeting is held every month with dates changing across different counties at the price of Ksh1000.

However, there is a regular special board meeting which can be held in case of an urgency and it's mostly at a higher price of around Ksh5000.

8. Land Valuation

The next step is to fill a valuation form and apply for Land Valuation. This is done once you are cleared by the Land Control Board. It is carried out at the Land Registry where the Land is situated. The Land's Office will then calculate the stamp duty to be paid which is based on the land value and location.

In the sale agreement, it should be written clearly who among the seller and the buyer should settle the fee to avoid any uncertainty.

9. Transfer Land

After paying the required stamp duty based on the Land valuation, the next step is to apply for the Land transfer which is carried out through the Land Registry. The buyer and the seller both sign the required transfer forms and then buyer goes ahead to the Land Registry where the Land is situated.

The seller must carry the following documents for the transfer to be carried out;

  • The Land Control Board Consent Form
  • KRA pin
  • Two Passport size photos
  • The Old Title Deed
  • Sale Agreement

The transfer of ownership normally takes about 3 weeks where you will be charged about Kshs. 1000 - 2,000 which varies across different counties.

10. Final Step

At this step, the seller will have received the new title deed indicating that ownership has been transferred and the old title deed has been defaced. The seller as the new owner will then proceed to pay the required stamp duty which is based to the land valuation. If the land is situated in the municipality, you pay 4% of the sale value, if it is locally situated you pay 2% of the sale value.

When you have done a search at the Land Registry to confirm that the land has been genuinely been transferred to you, then rejoice since you are now a new land owner.

N/B: The content of this blog article is for general use. Kindly feel free to add your insights in the comment section.

Read more; List of Government Services offered at Huduma Centers in Kenya

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