Legal procedures of buying land in Kenya

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Land is solid surface of the earth; it is a dry land which is not permanently covered by water. Kenyan land is owed by Kenyan citizens and government. Land is viewed as along investment. It is cheaper to buy a vacant land than a developed land; investors have maximum flexibility to use the land the way they want. Owning land is very empowering many of the richest men in the world are known to own big lands like Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta who has significant part of his wealth invested in land.

Foreigners are only permitted to purchase land or properties located within municipality or town otherwise they can lease land or property in Kenya. Foreigners and companies whose share holders are not Kenyans are restricted from owning Agricultural land unless the transaction has been exempted by law.

Kenyans are advised to use reputable lawyers while purchasing land, this ensures that you follow the legal procedure and receive the legal advice. All the cash should be channeled through the lawyer to avoid being conned. The following are the legal steps you should follow.

Identify the land you want to buy, this can be done through referral of someone who is aware of land being sold somewhere, land on sale adverts is another guidance to identify a land. You should be clear on what you want in terms of the size of the land and location. Once you identify a land on sale conduct a brief research about the land, enquire from neighbors if the rains are enough in that area and if the land floods in cases of heavy rain.

Conduct land search in the land registry; get a copy of seller’s title deed which is a requirement for land search. Fill a search application form at the land registry which is located at Ardhi house; attach a copy of the title deed. The process of land search will take about three days. The land search will give more and clear details of the land, details of the real owner of the land, the size of the land, information of any loan guaranteed by the land and court cases against the land.

A legal land for purchase should be clear on the owner who should be the seller; it should be free from any loan and court cases. Draft sale Agreement at this stage, you need a lawyer who is a professional in drafting property sales agreements. The sale agreement should specify the transaction procedure, most sale agreement state that the transaction should be finalized by the 90th day. The stamp duty should be paid at this stage and the agreement stamped by the lawyer. The stamping is very important in case land disputes arise the agreement will be valid before the court.

The land is transferred after the successful agreement and transaction, the buyer advocate should prepare a transfer which should be signed by the seller and his advocate, the buyer and the seller should provide their identification cards, PIN certificates, the original title deed, land rates/ rent clearance certificate, the valuation of the land and passport size photos.

The new owner should finally conduct a valuation and register it and pay the required fees.


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