Are you confused wondering what to do after misplacing or losing your title deed? Until you place a caveat to stop the misuse of the lost title deed, anybody could do shocking things with it. For instance, they could request a massive bank loan with the document and throw it away once they get the money.
Whether you lost the title deed in a residential fire or someone stole it from your house, you can replace it. Keep reading to find out how to replace a lost title deed in Kenya in a legal way.
How to Replace a Lost Title Deed in Kenya in 8 Steps
The specific law on the process of replacing lost title deeds in Kenya is under Section 33(1) of the 2012 Land Registration Act. The act permits the holder of the lost Certificate of Lease or Certificate of Title to approach the Registrar of Lands for a replacement.
However, they can succeed only if they can produce evidence of title loss to the land registrar’s satisfaction. The title replacement procedure entails the following eight steps:
1. Get a Police Abstract
Getting a police abstract allows you to officially report the title loss or destruction. Bring your original national ID card or passport to the nearest police station.
Also, present a copy of your title deed to the police. If you do not have this copy, share the title number. Another method is to visit the National Police Service Commission website and download an abstract.
Print it out and take it to the closest police station for guidance on how to enter crucial information.
2. Perform a Land Title Search at the Ministry of Lands
Section 33(4) of the 2012 Land Registration Act demands a land title search to see if you own the lost or damaged title deed. You will pay KES 500 to conduct a land title deed search online. Ensure you have your KRA PIN certificate and a copy of your passport/national ID card.
3. Swear a Statutory Declaration
The Registrar of Lands will only replace your missing title deed if they understand how you lost or destroyed it. You need a genuine lawyer for this step. They will give you the statutory declaration form in which to share the circumstances under which you lost the document.
The form has a section where you can add the exact time of title theft or destruction. Additionally, you should fill out an application form and attach it to the statutory declaration form and police abstract.
Statutory declaration is necessary even when the missing title deed belongs to a company. Directors, partners, or officials should fill out the declaration form.
4. Apply for Title Replacement
If the Registrar of Lands feels satisfied with your data, you can officially apply for the issuance of another title. This step requires you to fill out another application form called The Application for Replacement Certificate of Title/Lease on Loss/Destruction of the Previous Title Form. Bring the following requisites:
- Police abstract
- Certified photocopies of your passport or national ID card
- Companies should present certified photocopies of the Certificate of Incorporation. They should also provide photocopies of ID cards or passports of the company directors
- Certified minutes of the resolution by the registered company directors to replace a lost, damaged, or misplaced land title
- Colored passport-sized pictures of everyone involved
- The result of an official land search that was made to verify ownership of the lost document and the property it represents.
- Any crucial property document that could act as ownership proof.
5. Block Illegal Transactions Through a Caveat
Another crucial step when it comes to replacing a lost title deed in Kenya entails the registration of a caveat. The one who collected your title document after losing it could use it illegally and put you in more trouble.
You can prevent them from doing so by placing an official caveat. Go to a judge or the Ministry of Lands and oppose the illegal sale of your land through the lost title deed.
6. Publishing a Notice of the Title Loss or Damage in the Kenyan Gazette and Two Mainstream Newspapers
The law requires the Registrar of Lands to report the loss or destruction of your title on the Kenyan Gazette and two popular newspapers. Your name will appear in these publications for sixty days.
The notice should inform the public that after the lapse of the 60 days, the registrar will produce a new title deed. Any person who wants to object to the issuance of a new title deed should come out before the notice period ends. The title owner should pay for the government’s printing service.
7. Verification and Issuance of a Provisional Title Deed
The law requires the Registrar of Lands to verify that the 60-day notice period is over and that the procedure was lawful. After that, they should issue a provisional Certificate of Lease or Certificate of Title.
8. Making Card Entries and Issuing a New Title Deed
The District Land Registrar (DLR) should make relevant green card and white card entries to initiate the issuance of a new replacement land title. You get a green card after the purchase of a freehold land parcel.
A freehold land title deed gives you maximum authority to use the land as you wish. On the other hand, a white card represents a leasehold land title. This title deed gives you property ownership until the end of your leasing period. After that, you should renew ownership to continue being the legal owner. After the DLR makes relevant card entries, you will receive a new land title deed. That is how to replace a lost title deed in Kenya.