- Acquire the services of a competent lawyer
- Follow the 7 steps and you will rest comfortably knowing that you own a legit piece of land.
The 7 Most Important Steps When Buying Land in Kenya
In Kenya, land has become the holy grail of assets in recent times as the population balloons and people try to acquire decent homes around urban centers.
Most often, people find the process of buying land to be stressful due to the high number of unscrupulous individuals posing as owners or genuine land sellers.
Conmen have made millions of unsuspecting Kenyans who do not understand the process of buying land. Although no process is fool-proof due to endemic corruption in Kenya, the following procedure can assist when purchasing land from a group or a person.
It is important to hire a competent lawyer to take one through the legal process and hurdles
First, request to see a copy or the title deed itself. This is to facilitate the land search at the ministry of lands. The search confirms the identity of the landowners and aids the buyer in knowing if the land has a caveat/caution. A caution will notify the potential buyer of a legal claim to the land. Land transactions cannot proceed without the removal of the caveat. Additionally, a land search reveals whether the land has a charge, particularly when the owner has used it collateral to secure credit or a loan.
A search on the title costs around 500 shillings and takes around 3 days to be processed.
Second, visit the relevant County (local authority) offices and check for unpaid land rates since land transfer cannot occur with pending county levies. Have a written agreement with the seller on who will pay the land rates if pending.
The county governments issue a rates clearance certificate for around 10,000 shillings.
Third, visit the Ministry of Lands and purchase 2 maps. The first is the mutation map, which shows the exact measurements of the land that one is buying and the second one shows the neighboring plots of land. These maps cost about Kshs 350. These maps are instrumental in aiding one to verify the details on the ground. Therefore, armed with the map, one visits the land with a surveyor and verifies the crucial details such as measurements and beacons.
Fourth, have a meeting with the seller while accompanied by your lawyer. Draw an agreement and ensure that both parties are comfortable with the terms. Sign the agreement when the parties consent to the terms.
Fifth, book a meeting with the Commissioner of Lands or the Land Control Board. This costs around 1000 shillings and helps in issuing consent for the selected piece of land to be sold. Additionally, one acquires a land rent clearance certificate from the Commissioner of Lands. Pay the agreed sum of money concerning the land agreement officiated by the lawyer.
Sixth, acquire the services of a government valuer to determine the land valuation, hence, the amount to be paid as stamp duty. As per the report of the government valuer, pay stamp duty to the Kenya Revenue Authority (Commissioner of Domestic Taxes). Obtain a receipt as proof of payment.
Seventh, with the transfer consent obtained from the Land Control Board or the Commissioner of Lands and other requirements, visit the local land office in the Ministry of Lands to change ownership.
Other requirements include the following documents;
A copy of the title deed
KRA Pin and copies of identity cards
Consent letter from Lands Control Board
Rate Clearance Certificate from the county offices
Land rent clearance certificate
The process may take about 2 weeks.
By following this procedure, you will evade 99% of the conmen who bring about losses and land ownership rows.