How to Apply for a Title Deed in Kenya

Do you want to apply for a title deed in Kenya? This is a step-by-step guide to obtaining a title deed. In Kenya, title deeds are issued by the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning. They are vital documents that serve as proof of land ownership.

This article will take you through the process of applying for a title deed, but first, we need to define a title deed.

What is a Title Deed

A title deed is a legal document used to prove ownership of property. Although technically a deed of title could be issued for another type of property, title deeds are most commonly used as evidence of ownership for land, homes, and vehicles.

A title deed confers certain rights and privileges on the person who holds it in many parts of the world, and such deeds are required when people want to transfer ownership of their property.

A title deed is however different from a Certificate of Lease. The two documents are both used in the issuance of land and property but serve different purposes. You can learn the difference between a title deed and a Certificate of Lease here.

How to apply for a title deed in Kenya

1. Conduct a formal land search.

This is done to determine whether the land has previously been registered or if it is owned by someone else. The land search application can be completed both online and in person. You will be charged Kshs 500 for the search.

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Apply Personally

  • This is easily accomplished at the Ministry of Lands’ headquarters or regional lands offices.
  • Submit a search application that is incomplete (form RL 26).
  • Following the completion of the search, you will be given a stamped certificate of official search (form RL 27). The certificate demonstrates the land’s status.

Documents required in the application for a Title Deed

To apply for a title deed, the following documents will be required;

  • A complete application for an official search form (Form RL 26).
  • Evidence of land ownership.
  • If the applicant is Kenyan, an ID card is required.
  • KRA PIN certificate copy
  • If the applicant is not a Kenyan, a copy of his or her passport is required.
  • Foreign national registration or an alien card is required for foreigners.

Online Application for a Title Deed

  • Access the e-citizen portal.
  • Navigate to the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning.
  • Select the option for land search.
  • Fill out the online land search form with the title number and submit it.
  • Confirm that the information entered is correct.
  • Continue to pay for the search (Kshs 500).
  • The search results will be displayed on the portal.

2. Obtain a Land Transfer Document.

This involves the services of a lawyer. It entails the following steps:

  • Apply to the county government, pay, and obtain a rates clearance certificate. Every county has its own set of land rates. The procedure takes approximately 5 days and costs Kshs 10,000.
  • Apply to the Commissioner of Lands for a land rate clearance certificate. The certificate verifies that no outstanding land rate fees are owed.
  • Obtain the Commissioner of Lands’ permission to transfer. This will cost you Kshs 1,000.
  • Stamp duty on the transfer is calculated. Stamp duty is 4% of the property value in urban areas and 2% in rural areas.

3. Obtain a stamp duty valuation.

Obtain a government valuation of the property. Municipal plots are valued at Kshs 1,000, while plots in other urban areas are valued at Kshs 500.

4. Stamp duty payment

  • You must fill out the stamp duty form, including the purchase price of the property or land. An assessment officer will then determine the amount of stamp duty payable and record it on the stamp duty form.
  • On behalf of the Commissioner of Lands, stamp duty is paid to the Commissioner of Domestic Taxes. It is completed online through the iTax portal.

5. Registration of Land

  • You will be charged Kshs 500 as a registration fee. You will be given a booking form to complete.
  • Proceed to the lands office to register the completion documents. The entire procedure takes about two weeks.
  • If the registration is successful, you will be given an original title deed, registered transfer forms, and a stamp duty pay slip.

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