What are the main types of title deeds in Kenya
There are three types of titles deeds in the country
Absolute title deed which is also known as freehold title - The owner has maximum rights on the ownership of the land. It cannot be challenged.
Certificate of lease - it is where the land was obtained for a specific period of time as the lessor surrenders their rights to the lessee subject to a lease agreement.
Sectional title – it is often involved in buildings where one owns part of a building. An example is an apartment in a flat.
Can a foreigner obtain a land title deed in Kenya
A foreigner in Kenya may only obtain a leasehold title which stands valid only for a period of 99years. It is renewable subject to government directives. It is the government through the National Land Commission that determines the terms of the leasehold. It may reacquire the land on the expiry of the lease and do allocations to other people. The ways in which a foreigner may own land areas; a company, trust or individually (in person)
Ways in which one may acquire a title deed
One may acquire land through;
- Allocation where the government distributes land to members of the public mainly done through ballot system, auctions and tenders
Land adjudication this is also known as community land
- Compulsory acquisition done by the government to improve social amenities such as road construction
- Adverse possession where one resides in a particular place continually without opposition for 12 years
- Settlement program where the government allows squatters to stay on a particular piece of land for a particular period
- Transmission - where the title passes to another party for reasons such as death or liquidation Transfer through sale of land
What are the steps followed in the transfer of a land title deed in Kenya
The first step to acquire a title deed is;
The buyer needs a rates clearance certificate from the National Land Commission which is free
The seller on the other hand is expected to apply for the same certificate from the county government offices at a cost of Ksh 10,000
Conduct a search at the land registration office to determine the legal owner of the parcel of land and if there are any encumbrances on the parcel. The entire search is worth five hundred Kenyan shillings.
Apply for consent from the office of the commissioner of lands upon approval by the land control board on the second sitting. This process conducted by the seller and it charges a fee of Ksh 1,00o.
Application for valuation of the land. The process is carried out by a government value to ensure the right amount is paid. It this at this stage, that the amount to be paid as stamp duty is determined.
The next step is payment of stamp duty to the Kenya Revenue Authority where the receipt is issued as proof of clearance
The final step is to hence process the transfer at the land offices.
Why is it necessary to conduct a search before buying land
It is necessary to conduct a search on a parcel of land for the following reasons;
- To determine the legal registered owner of the land in question
- To determine if there any cautions put by court orders due to property disputes
- To find out if there any encumbrances put on the land such as charges or mortgages by banks or any other institutions
What are the requirements of conducting a search in Kenya
Conducting a search on the parcel of land to be bought is the first step in the transfer of a land title. One needs the following to conduct a search;
A fully executed consent form, copy of the land title deed of the seller, a copy of the Kenya Revenue Authority certificate of the seller, an identity card for the applicant if they are Kenyan, a passport if the applicant is foreign and a non-resident and an alien card for foreigners who are residents in the country.
What documents does one need to transfer a land title deed from a seller to a buyer?
After a successful search at the land registry on the parcel of land in question one needs to apply for consent to transfer. The commissioner of land is one responsible for giving consent to transfer the land subject to the land control board sittings. One requires the following documents for this exercise
A current official search, A spousal consent in cases where necessary, the original and a copy of the title deed, a copy of the national identification card for both parties, a copy of the Kenya Revenue Authority certificates of both parties of the sale and finally a duly filled application for consent form subject to approval by the office in charge.