Last week we talked about questions you should ask when buying land in rural areas (Ushago) and I’m now certain if you follow our blogs consistently you are learning something every week. Back to our topic – Legal procedures of buying land in Kenya, do you know and adhere to them? Well sit back and read through to the end, we have witnessed clients loosing Money to fraudsters in Nairobi, Mombasa and other towns in the country due to lack of due diligence. Here are some of the steps to follow while buying land:
- Ministry of lands search – The first thing before you start negotiating for that land in Thika, Kitengela, Kangudo road, Voi, Mwatate etc you need to ascertain the owners of the land through a search at the Ministry of lands headquarters available in every county. The procedure costs only Ksh 520 and will give you all the details including the real owners, whether there is a court battle on it or a loan secured using the Title etc. All this should be ready in less than 2 hours at the offices.
- Know the land rates – You will not want problems with the local county council officers over unpaid land rates, therefore conduct a search in your local lands county offices to know whether the land has outstanding land rates or not and if so who will pay the rates before the land is transferred to you? You will be issued with a clearance certificate afterwards.
- Map – Get a map from the Ministry of lands showing the plot and its neighborhoods usually drawn to scale, you can also get a surveyor for the same.
- On ground Land Verification – Now that you have the map visit the site and verify that the dimensions are correct and beacons are clear. You can seek the services of a surveyor too during this procedure, additionally this is the time to familiarize with neighbors and know if they are in agreement of the purchase.
- Land Control Board – The LCB usually sits once a month comprising of the Assistant County Commissioners and village elders who then give final consent on the sale of the land, you can seek their services at a cost of Ksh 1,000 or you can opt for the Special Land Control Board which comprises of the Assistant Commissioner only and two parties usually at a cost of Ksh 5,000 depending on the availability of the commissioner.
- Agreement – According to the law, any agreement should be in writing and therefore a written agreement should be in place before any transaction. It is usually advisable to involve a lawyer at this point at a cost to be shared between the buyer and seller, the recommended amount is Ksh 3,000 for transactions amounting a million or below. Above a million the lawyer should charge Ksh 8,000. Moreover witnesses should be involved (Spouse preferred) and the amount can be paid in cash or installments depending with the agreement in place.
- Land transfer – After all the transactions are finalized the seller signs Land Transfer Forms which together with Consent from LCB, land search, clearance from county/ municipal council, passport photos, KRA PIN, agreement and old title deed are taken to the Ministry of Lands to change ownership. It costs Ksh 5,000 to process new title which should be ready within two weeks. On your side you will need to pay stamp duty based on the value of land.
- Post purchase – Lastly after a week or two you will need to do a search again on the Ministry of Lands to verify that the land now reads your name. A very important last procedure to finalize land purchasing.
Now you see, buying land in Kenya can be smooth and easy if you follow the above steps with no hurry. You can also opt to engage real estate agents in Nairobi, Mombasa like Myspace Properties to assist you in your journey to land ownership.
Happy Buying! Don’t forget to share.