Land is a precious commodity across the globe. Highly valued for its appreciation rate that rises at a steady high. Property investment has become a hot topic in Kenya with everyone struggling to acquire a piece of land for themselves.
With such developments its paramount that people know how to legally transfer that piece of land to their name to avoid legal battles about ownership and detect land scams. Land buying involves the basic principles of law of contract. It requires that all legal and contractual procedures are followed to avoid future conflicts which may lead to a double loss.
Before investing on any piece, follow the following steps:
As a soon to be land owner, identify the land that meets your criteria i.e. location, size and soil type.
Search at the lands registry
After identifying the piece of land that you would like to acquire, obtain a copy of the land title deed from the seller in-order to facilitate the search. Search results take 2 hours after filling a search application form (attach a copy of the title). The process costs Ksh. 520
Search at the county office
Once you have confirmed that the seller is the true legitimate owner of the property in question, perform another search at the county office to unearth any unpaid land rates, which should be factored in the purchase price. The fee for this search varies in different counties.
Obtain two land maps
The maps can be acquired from the Land ministry or a local surveyor at a cost of Ksh.300 each. One map is usually drawn to scale and the other is an overview of the land showing adjacent plots.
As a buyer visit the land together with the seller and the surveyor to verify the dimensions. Also verify the presence of beacons. This should be erected to avoid future disputes on land boundaries.
The law requires the transaction to be in writing. Its advisable to have a lawyer (though not a must). According to the Law Society of Kenya tariffs, the lawyer should charge Ksh. 300 if land is Ksh. 1,000,000 and below and Ksh. 8000 if the land is valued above Ksh. 1,000,000.
Lawyer’s cost is normally shared equally between buyer and seller. It’s advisable to have the spouse of the seller present to consent on the sale. Alternatively, get the Land Control Board clearance at a cost of Ksh. 1,000. You can also schedule a meeting involving only the assistant county commissioner at a cost of Ksh. 5,000.
Transfer and procurement of completion documents
Once the payments are made and the seller inks the land transfer forms, the buyer should proceed to the ministry armed with the consent from LCB, land search, clearance from county, 3 passport photos, KRA pin certificate, sale agreement and the old title deed – to change ownership of the land. It takes two weeks and Ksh. 5,000 to process a new title deed.
Stamping the transfer
You will need to pay Stamp Duty based on the value of land, i.e. 4% for urban land and 2% for rural lands. This payable after a valuation of the property is made. This Stamp Duty is payable online via the KRA Itax portal.
Post purchase activity
After a week or two, you as the buyer should do another search with the ministry of Lands to confirm that the land is now under your name. The land buying process in Kenya is merged by corrupt government officials who insist on ‘Kitu kidogo’ to give you what you right fully deserve.
Not forgetting the industry is full of scammers who are waiting to pounce on your hard earned money. It is therefore advisable, to buy land offered by a genuine affordable property company that manages all the hustles on your behalf. From carrying out due diligence, ensuring the property is beckoned, fencing and transferring tittle deeds.
Via Business Today