Land is the most essential asset you can have in Kenya. Towns and industries are rapidly growing in the country. Therefore, this is making the price of land to rise tremendously. As a result, many people in the country are trying to own land now as compared to past years. However, it is necessary to have in mind what it takes to buy land in Kenya. As you are looking to buy land, con artists are waiting to lure and con you through land buying. Therefore, it is necessary to have in mind the legal procedure of buying land. Thus, this is a land buying procedure in Kenya.
1. Ask for the Title Deed to Conduct a Land Search
The first step is to ask the seller for the title of the land. With this title, you have to visit the ministry of land headquarters at the county level to confirm whether the land is owned by the seller. You need to visit the lands office to be notified of any issue about the land. Some of the issues you will be notified if the land has been used as collateral for a loan or if it is restricted from being sold by the court. Land search in the country costs Ksh. 520 and it takes approximately 6 months.
2. Check for the Payment of Land Rates
Before taking the process further, you need to ensure that land rates pertaining to the said land have been paid. Therefore, the second step is to consult the local authorities in terms of land rates. If you realize that the rates have not been paid, you have to agree with the seller on how the rates will be cleared. Therefore, you will agree on how the rates will be paid as land cannot be transferred with unpaid rates.
3. Price Negotiation and Sale Agreement
The third land buying procedure in Kenya is to negotiate the price. With the negotiation, there must be a sale agreement with terms and conditions agreed upon by both parties. Therefore, it is advisable that the sale agreement is drafted by the seller’s lawyer and presented to the buyer’s advocate for approval. According to the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), if the land value is below 1 million, the lawyer is paid Ksh. 3,000. However, if the value exceeds Ksh. 1M, the lawyer is paid Ksh. 8,000. After the negotiation of the price and the agreement, the buyer has to deposit the agreed deposit to the account of the seller’s advocate. NB: Do not pay the full amount even if you have the money. The spouse MUST BE present!
4. Acquire Land Maps
You will then have to visit the ministry of lands to acquire two maps. One of the maps, called a mutation, is drawn to scale and it shows the exact measurement of the piece you are buying. The second map will be showing the neighboring lands. You will need Ksh. 700 as each map coasts Ksh. 350. However, because visiting the ministry of lands will take longer to acquire these maps, you can get them from a local surveyor.
5. Verification of the Details
With your two maps and a surveyor, you should physically visit the land to confirm the details. A surveyor will be helpful in this case as he will make the measurements to ascertain the extent of the land. Furthermore, the surveyor will aid in the identification of land beacons.
6. Book a Meeting with the Land Control Board (LCB)
LCB is made up of the assistant county commissioner and the local village elders. The role of this board is to protect the seller from self-destruction for instance, in the case of selling land that is not to be sold. Additionally, it is stated that one cannot sell land without the consent of the wife. This is why I stated that during the making of the agreement, the spouse must be present. Therefore, LCB gives the final consent for the piece to be sold. LCB meets once per month and charges Ksh. 1,000.
However, instead of waiting for the LCB, there is a Special Land Control Board (SCLB). This board is made up of the assistant county commissioner, the seller, and the buyer. Most people prefer the SCLB as it only takes about 2 hours for the process to be concluded. However, SCLB charges Ksh. 5,000, as a result, you will pay more if you decide to use SCLB.
7. Land Transfer
After getting consent from LCB or SCLB, the seller is expected to sign a land transfer form that contains:
- Identity Card
- Old Title Deed
- Sale Agreement
- KRA Pin
- Transfer Instrument
- Land rent Certificate
- Land Rates clearance form
- Correctly filled booking form
- Official land search
- Consent to transfer land
After this process, the buyer should now pay the remaining balance. Finally, the old title deed should be taken to the ministry of lands to change the ownership of land. This takes two weeks at a cost of Ksh. 5,000.
8. Pay the Stamp Duty
At this stage, you do not need the seller. You should go and pay the stamp duty which will be determined by the value of the land. 4% of the value of land will go to the municipalities while 2% will be for reserve. Consequently, this will be a proof of your ownership of that land.
9. Post-Purchase Inspection
This is the final stage in the land buying procedure in Kenya. After one week, the buyer should check with the ministry of lands to ensure that the land has his or her details. If there are any errors, you can rectify them and also check after one week. As a result, these details will indicate that the land legally belongs to you.