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The Process of Buying Land in Kenya

If you are thinking of buying land, then you need to know the legal procedure of buying and transferring ownership. Many people have lost their money after buying land from con men. To avoid such scenarios, then it is good that you know the process. The Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning is in the process of digitizing land transactions, a process that will ease the procedure of buying land in Kenya. The Ministry has already digitized the land records in Nairobi County.

When buying land, it is best that you use a lawyer. This is procedure of buying and transferring land ownership in Kenya.

Title Deed Search

Before buying any land in Kenya, it is important that you know who the rightful owner of the land is. You can only know the owner through a land search. You should buy the land only if it is registered under the name of the seller. A land search also helps you to know if the land has any conflicts. It costs Ksh 520 to carry out a land search with the local authorities. Also, check if there are any unpaid land rates and agree with the seller who is to settle them.

Get Property Maps

Before buying land, you should buy two maps of the land from the Ministry of Lands. Each of the map costs Ksh 350. The first map shows the shape and measurement of the land, while the second map shows neighboring land.  

Visit the Land

You need to visit and see the land you are buying before making any commitment. You can visit with a surveyor. When visiting the land, make sure to carry the two maps you just bought. Verify if the details on the map are the exact ones on the ground.

It is also good that you talk to the neighbors and get to know the history of the land. Find out if there have been conflicts regarding the property. Neighbors can help you identify land with disputes and help you avoid transferring the conflicts to yourself.

Discuss the Purchase Price and Draft a Legal Agreement  

Once you have all the information, you can negotiate the price with the seller. Agree on the amount you should pay first before visiting the Land Control Board. Once you reach an agreement, you can proceed to write a legal agreement.

You should write the agreement in the presence of a lawyer. Make sure that there are witnesses of people who know you; the buyer and the seller. It is also important that the spouse of the seller be present. The fees of the lawyer are usually 1% or 2% of the purchase price.

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Make a Payment

With the legal agreement, you can go ahead and make a payment. It is advisable not to pay the whole amount even if you are in a position to until you get consent from the Land Control Board.

Land Control Board (LCB)

The other process is to attend a meeting with the Land Control Board in the County where the land is located. The board meets once a month. You need to make a payment of Ksh 1,000 to the Land Control Board. However, you can request a special sitting with the Land Control Board at Ksh 4,000. The role of the Land Control Board is to issue consent of the sale of land.

Clear the Balance

If you had paid a percentage of the purchase price, you should clear the balance once you get consent from the Land Control Board. After making the payment, you can start the process of transferring ownership to your name. It costs Ksh 5,000 to transfer ownership.

You need to visit the Ministry of Lands with following documents to start land ownership transfer.

  • LCB consent
  • A recent land search (not older than 6 months)
  • A clearance for land rates
  • Two maps of the land
  • Identity Card
  • Sale agreement
  • KRA Pin
  • 2 passport photos
  • Copy of the old title deed

Pay Stamp Duty

The other thing is to pay a stamp duty. The stamp duty is 4% of the purchase prices that goes to the municipalities while 2% goes to the reserves.

Post-Purchase Confirmation Search

After going through all these steps, you need to confirm from the Ministry of Lands if the land transfer was successful. You will be checking to find out if the land appears under your name. You can do the land search after a week. If there are any mistakes, you can correct them after another one week.  

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Conclusion

When buying land, make sure to strictly follow the above steps. You do not want to lose your money to land scammers. The process of buying land is set to become easier and faster with the digitization of the land records. Soon, you will be in a position to do a land search and transfer ownership online.