Generally, land in Kenya is identified by Plot Number or Land Rate number (LR). After the appropriate land is identified and the LR number obtained from the seller and the process proceed as follows:
1. Conduct a site visit
Identify the piece of land that you wish to purchase and ensure that the beacons of the land are clearly marked. Keep in mind that in the ancestral land there may be no beacons. The beacons give a clearer vision of the shape and size of the land and its actual boundaries.
2. Perform an official search
Your lawyer then performs a land search in Kenya at the District Lands Office or the Ministry of Lands (Ardhi House). To perform the Search, you will need a copy of the title deed of the land and you must fill the search application form and attach the title. You pay Kshs 500( figure not exact).
3. Search at the county office
This one helps to unearth any unpaid land rates which should be factored into the purchase price.
4. Obtain two land maps.
These ones are obtained from Survey of Kenya after buying Kshs 300( figure not exact). One map is usually drawn to scale, and the other one is an overview of the lands adjacent to the one you want to buy.
5. Ground verification
Once you have obtained the maps, you should visit the land together with a surveyor to verify the dimensions.
6. Preparation of the sale agreement
Once you have verified the authenticity of the land, a sale agreement is then prepared by the seller’s Lawyer.
7.Preparation of the documents
The seller must prepare all the completed documents to ensure a proper transfer. The Completion documents will include:
- Original Title in the name of the seller.
- Duly executed transfer forms in triplicate (must be sealed if a company is selling)
- 3 Passport Photos of the Vendor if it’s an individual and if a company, then 3 photos each of 2 directors of the company
- Copy of Pin Number of the Vendor
- Copy of National ID of the Vendor and if a company copies of National IDs for 2 directors who’ll sign the transfer
- Copy of the registration Certificate if it’s a company.
- PIN Certificate of Company
- Rates Clearance Certificate (In Case the tenancy of the land is leasehold)
- Rent Clearance Certificate (In Case the tenancy of the land is leasehold)
- Land control board license.
Your lawyer should confirm that the documents are authentic and must certify the documents before presentation to the relevant Lands Registration Office
At whatever cost NEVER pay your cash until the seller has shown you these documents. If they are not available, NOTE you will have difficulties transferring the title to your name legally9. Pay the full amount to the seller.
8. Payment of Stamp duty
The draft transfer documents should be filed at Lands Office for assessment of stamp duty payable on the transfer. Other than the aforementioned documents, the buyer must attach his copy of ID, passport photos and copy of PIN. After this, the government valuer conducts a site visit to verify the development and state of the property. The stamp duty is 2% (agricultural land) and 4% of land within the Local Municipality.
9. Exchange of documents
When the registration is done with the issuance of a new Title deed (for freehold tenancy) or Certificate of Lease (Leasehold tenancy). The buyer’s lawyer or the buyer then collects the Title Deed at the Lands Office