Owning land is one of the greatest achievements anyone can make in life, but can also be one of the risky investments when the set procedures for land ownership are not followed.
When buying land in Kenya, it’s advised to do due diligence not only because it is required by the law but also to ensure that you do not fall into the hands of con artists.
Muriithi Ngari, an investment consultant at Lavah Investments, shares some tips on how to legally purchase land in Kenya.
Ask to see the title deed or copy of the title deed. Then, do a search at the Ministry of Lands to confirm who the real owners are or if the title has any Caveat on it. The search will cost you Ksh520.
Do a search with the local authorities to check for any unpaid land rates. If any, agree with the seller on who will settle the debt. Nb: land can’t be transferred if there are unpaid land rates.
Go to the Ministry of Lands and buy 2 maps, one showing the exact measurements of the piece u are buying (called mutation) and the other showing the neighboring lands. Each cost Sh350.
With your 2 maps and a surveyor (you can even do it yourself), visit the land you are buying and verify the details on the map. Check out all the beacons.
Sit down with your seller and bargain the price. Write down an agreement. The agreement can be done before a lawyer, or you may decide to do it yourself.
It’s not a must to be written by a lawyer. According to the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), if the value of the land is below 1 million, you pay the lawyer Sh3,000. If above 1 million, you pay Sh8,000 for the agreement.
Pay some amounts or as per your agreement. Don’t pay for everything, even if you have the money. Don’t pay cash. Do a bank transfer to the seller or pay direct to his or her account. This shows evidence of who paid and the payee. Cash atakuruka.
Book a meeting with the Lands Control Board (LCB). They meet once a month. It will cost you Ksh1,000. But there is a special LCB meeting which you can book at Sh5,000. LCB will issue consent for the land to be sold.
Pay the remaining balance after getting consent from LCB. With the consent from LCB, a recent search(not more than 6 months), a clearance form from County land rates, your 2 maps, the agreement, KRA PIN, 2 Passports, and a copy of the title deed, go to the Ministry of Lands to change ownership. Cost Ksh5,000.
At this stage, you no longer need the seller. Now go and pay stamp duty, i.e., according to the value of the land. Land sale value in municipalities is at 4 percent, and 2 percent in reserves.
Now, the land belongs to you. But before celebrating, go to the ministry and do a search to confirm if it really reads your name.