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Legal Procedure Of Buying Land In Kenya

by Zack Abuyeka

This is a legal procedure of buying and in Kenya. The constitution permits any Kenyan to buy land anywhere in the country. However, there are certain legal procedures that any potential land buyer needs to follow.

Here are the legal procedures to follow when buying land

1. Land Identification

  • This step involves identifying the piece of land that suits your preference or criteria, such as the size of the land, location, soil type.. etc

2. Search At The Lands Registry

  • Once you have identified your ideal piece of land, it is recommended that you search the lands registry. For you to effectively search, you need to obtain a copy of the land title deed from the seller. The search is aimed at informing you of the current owner of the land, size, location and any caveats registered against the land.
  • Search results normally take about two hours to be due. The search costs Kshs. 520.

3. Conduct A Search At The County Office

  • The search helps in unearthing any pending land rates. The search fees vary from county to county. For example, in Nairobi, you will be required to pay Kshs. 7,500.
  • The search also normally takes about two hours to be ready.

4. Obtain Land Maps (2 land maps)

  • You will need to obtain two land maps from a local surveyor or the lands ministry. It is recommended that you obtain the land maps from a local surveyor as the process is faster.
  • One land map is normally drawn to scale while the other shows neighbouring/adjacent plots.
  • The land maps cost 300 shillings each.

5. Ground Verification

  • After obtaining the land maps you will have to visit the land together with the seller and surveyor. This is mainly aimed at verifying dimensions.
  • Erect beacons to avoid any disputes that might arise.

6. Sale Agreement

  • This is a very crucial step that might require the services of a professional lawyer, though it is not a must. The sale agreement is usually prepared by the seller’s lawyer. The agreement indicates all terma and conditions of sale.
  • The lawyer should charge a fee of 3,000 shillings if the value of land is Kshs 1,000,000 and below, or charge 8,000 shillings if the value of the land is above Kshs. 1,000,000
  • The cost of the lawyer is shared equally between the buyer and seller.
  • At this point, the seller might ask you to pay some deposit, but you should wait until you get clearance from the Land Control Board

7. Land Control Board Clearance

  • The board is usually comprised of Assistant County Commissioners and local village elders. The board is tasked with the duty of ensuring that the land transactions are conducted transparently and legally.
  • The clearance costs Kshs. 1,000. However, you can pay 5,000 shillings and schedule a meeting with only the assistant county commissioner.

8. Land Transfer

  • This happens after all payments are done. The seller will sign the land transfer form with consent from LCB and proceed to the lands ministry with the LCB form, land search, clearance from the county, passport photos, KRA pin certificates, sale agreement and the old title deed.
  • The new title deed costs 5,000 shillings and will take about two weeks to be processed.

9. Stamping Of The Transfer

  • The buyer is required to apply for the valuation of land using the valuation form that is filled by the seller.
  • The stamp duty will be paid for based on the value of the land.
  • The stamp duty is paid to the commissioner of domestic taxes.

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