The legal procedure for buying land in Kenya

It is everyone’s dream to own a piece of land somewhere in Kenya. If you are looking to buy land in Kenya, well you are in luck. People know the process of land buying in Kenya? The land is said to be one of the most promising investments you can venture into in Kenya. This is due to the fast-growing towns and industries from every corner of Kenya, leading to the rising of land prices. Land is also one of the most valuable fixed assets one can have. This is the reason why most people are trying to own land. however, getting a piece of land in Kenya has procedures that you must follow. We will help you on your journey on how to buy land/plot in Kenya.

The following are the procedures that you are supposed to follow:

1. Search and inspection of the title deed

Once you have identified the piece of land that you would like to buy, you should then visit the ministry of land headquarters at the county level, to confirm the owner of the land. You will be required to carry the title deed of the land to enable the research of the land. Also, by going to the ministry of land, you will be informed of any issues connected to the land. For example, maybe someone had used the land to get a loan or the land has been restricted by the court to be sold. In Kenya, a land search costs Ksh 520 and takes an average period of 5 days. You must do your due diligence buying land in Kenya.

2. Offers and Price negotiation

When satisfied with the results of the search and inspection of the title deed, then the seller’s advocate can prepare an offer letter. The letter of offer should contain the details of both the buyer and seller, a description of the land, the proposed land price and the mode of payment. To get the land at a lower price, negotiations between the two parties must take place. A wise buyer will offer a lower price than the fixed one after the search and inspection of the land.

3. Sale agreement and deposit

Upon agreeing on the price, make sure that the sale agreement has the terms and conditions that both parties agreed on. The sale agreement is drafted by the seller’s lawyer and presented to the buyer’s advocate for approval. The approval of the sales agreement is followed by payment of the agreed deposit to the seller’s advocate account.

4. Land map

You can get the land map from a local surveyor and buy a map of the property. You will get two maps, one drawn to scale and the other one showing the neighbouring lands. each map will cost you Ksh 300 or less. However, you can visit the lands ministry which will take longer to get the maps.

5. Land  rates

Land rates are the tax imposed on every parcel of land to the county government. This is a keynote to have during the land-buying process. After payment, a rates clearance certificate is issued as proof that all rates have been paid. Make sure that the seller has covered all the land rates and interests before making any transactions. Note that payment of rates is a legal responsibility of every landowner hence you ought to be committed.

6. Land control board

This board consists of the assistant county commissioner and the local village elders. Their main duty to protect the seller from self-destruction such as selling the land that was instructed never to be sold. Also, one cannot sell land without the wife giving consent. This means that the board will give the final consent for the land you are interested in to be sold. Note that this board meets once per month and will charge you Ksh 1000.

However, there is an optional board, a special land control board( SCLB), that consists of the assistant county commissioner and the two parties only instead of waiting for the LCB. most people prefer this board since it can take up to 2 hours and you don’t have to wait for a month for the meeting to happen. The SCLB costs 5000.

7. Land transfer

After all payments and the consent of the land control board, the seller is required to sign a land transfer form. The form should contain:

  • Correctly filled booking form
  • Official land search
  • Consent to transfer land
  • Land rates clearance form
  • Land rent certificate
  • Transfer Instrument
  • Identity card
  • KRA pin
  • Sale agreement
  • Old title deed

The old title deed should be taken to the ministry of land to change land ownership. The process takes two weeks and costs 5000.

8. Payment of stamp duty

The value of the land will determine the amount of money you will pay for stamp duty.  4% of the land value will go to the municipalities while 2% will go for reserve.

9. Post-purchase 

The buyer should confirm with the Ministry of land, after one week,  that the land has his or her details. If any issues, you can make corrections then go confirm after a week

The above are the legal procedures to follow while purchasing land. We have simplified the process of buying land from an individual. If you need help purchasing the property, contact the award-winning real estate agency in Kenya. Specializing in Nairobi and its environs, Commercial Property Kenya is bound to get you through the process of purchasing your property. Contact us today and we will make your land-buying process easy.