The Legal Process for Purchasing Land in Kenya
Under the Kenyan Constitution, everyone has a right to own land in Kenya either by purchase or inheritance. However, in this case, we will focus more on the Kenyans who are planning to own land via purchase.
Not once or twice cases of people buying air in the name of land have surfaced in the limelight. In most scenarios, you’ll notice that the buyer never followed a legal way of purchasing the land.
To ensure that you are making the right purchase and avoid getting scammed, there is a set of procedures you must follow. Following the right process to acquire land is mainly to ensure that you do not fall into the wrong hands of scammers.
Here are some of the most important steps that would guide you while purchasing land in Kenya.
Legal Process for Purchasing Land in Kenya
STEP 1: IDENTIFY THE LAND
First, you need to identify the land you want to buy in comparison to your interests in terms of purpose, location, and size.
STEP 2: SEARCH AT THE LAND REGISTRY
It’s important to conduct a search to a relevant lands registry to certify the owner of the land and size of the land and if exist any encumbrances. A prospective buyer purchasing the land should ensure to acquire a copy of the land title deed from the seller together with the seller’s KRA PIN copy and identification card copy.
Proceed to the land registry where the land is located and request an application form which you will be required to fill in the copies of the title deed, Identification card, and KRA PIN. The search results process will only take 2 hours after the filling, it will cost 500 Ksh.
STEP 3: CONFIRM ANY UNPAID LAND RATES
It really helps to confirm whether or not there are no unpaid land rates attached to the land before purchasing. The process can only be done by conducting a search at the county office where the land is located. If any unpaid land rates are discussed with the seller who is to clear the debt, since no land can be transferred without clearing the unpaid land rates.
STEP 4: OBTAIN THE LAND MAP
Acquire at least two land maps for the land you intend to purchase from the Ministry of Lands or from a local surveyor. One drawing shows the exact measurements of the land or mutation while the other will give an overview of the land with its adjacent neighbouring plots.
With the 2 maps, a surveyor and the seller proceed to the actual location of the land to verify the details on the map. Ensure that beacons are intact to avoid future disputes.
STEP 5: PRICE AGREEMENT
Once the buyer is satisfied with all the details of the land the seller and buyer can now ask their lawyer to prepare the purchase offer indicating the terms of the sale including both names of the buyer and the seller, the price, mode of payment. Ensure not pay cash but rather do a bank transfer to the seller or pay cash to his / her account.
STEP 6: LAND CONTROL BOARD CLEARANCES
On acquiring a land board clearances will comprise the county commissioner and the elders of the area where the land is located. This clearance’s purpose is to ensure that the land transfer is transparent. The board meeting is often held every month with different dates varying in various counties each costing 1,000 Ksh. However, if you would require a special board meeting which will include the deputy Commissioner is often a higher cost of 5,000 Ksh.
STEP 7:LAND VALUATION
After clearing with the land control board fill out a valuation form and apply for a land Valuation at the land registry where the land is located. The land’s office will compute the stamp duty to be paid which will be based on the value of the land and location.
STEP 8: TRANSFER OF LAND
The next step after completion of payment of the required stamp duty on land valuation apply for the land transfer at the land registry. Both the seller and the buyer will be required to sign the required transfer forms where the buyer will then proceed to the land registry where the land is located. At this point, the seller will be required to go with the following
The Land Control Board consent form
2 Passport size photos
The old Title Deed
The land ownership change normally takes 3 weeks which will cost 5,000 Ksh. You will no longer need the seller, hence you can go pay for your stamp duty.