THE PROCESS OF BUYING LAND IN KENYA
I'll skip the part where i tell you why land is the best investment you can make and go straight to how to buy land. If you want to avoid self inflicted diabetes, blood pressure, stress and quick death... Follow my lead.
1. Identify the land. In my view, the best time to buy and is a wet season like now. You'll easily know the drainage of the land and the quality of the roads. That's also one way of avoiding wetlands and riparian reserves.
2. Go for a site visit so that you don't buy air. Identify the beacons and the access road to your plot or parcel. Scout for basic amenities like electricity line and water.
3. Make preliminary negotiations on price with the seller or agent.
4. Ask for a copy of the title deed and Mutation map or Survey plan. Make sure the size is clearly identified so that you don't buy a 40 by 80 plot thinking its an eighth. Also ensure that the mutation corresponds with the title deed.
5. Get a lawyer or a registered real estate agent to do a search for you at the lands registry. You can actually do it yourself but it's always better to engage professionals with knowledge and experience. It will cost you, but it will be worth it.
6. If you decide to do the search yourself, avoid taking shortcuts. Land is not bread that you buy over a counter. It takes a process, and you should be patient to follow through. Shortcuts includes meeting strangers at the registry corridors offering help at a fee, or engaging the seller or agent to do it for you. Not everyone is trustworthy. Someone can hand you a fake search at the corridor.
7. The search will tell you the registered owners of the land, if it is in vacant possession, if it has any encumbrances or easements. If it is being held as security for a loan or bond etc.
8. Once you're satisfied that the search is okay. Obtain an updated certified map from the survey office and a mutation sketch. The map will inform you where the land is, neighboring parcels etc. This helps you to avoid paying 9 Million for a plot in Rongai town, when what you're being sold is in Ngong, Olooltepes. The map is very important. Keep it.
9. Armed with the map, visit the site again for due diligence. Talk to neighbors, local authority i.e. the sub chief and Nyumba kumi Chairperson. Ensure that the land has no dispute either on ownership or boundary.
10. Visit the county government land rates office and find out if land rates have been paid. If any are pending, agree with the seller on who will pay.
11. Instruct your advocate to prepare a properly drafted sale agreements. Sorry to say this but please get a good lawyer, avoid quacks who draft grammatical mistakes and fail to include essential terms in the contract. It can cost you a great deal.
12. Upon signing the agreement, make payments according to the contract. Upon payment, receive completion/ transfer documents from the seller:
Duly executed but undated Transfer (in triplicate) in your favor with respect to the property.
The original Title Deed relating to the Property
Consent to Transfer from the Land Control Board.
Spousal or family consent, if the seller is married and has children who have attained the majority age.
Certified copies of the Identity Card, PIN Certificate and three (3) coloured passport size photographs of the seller;
Capital Gains Tax acknowledgment slip/(exemption);
13. Apply for assessment and payment of Stamp Duty. Please pay your taxes. Small things can cost you a kidney.
14. Using the completion documents, apply for transfer of title. Fence your land immediately.
Finally, if you're not experience. Avoid allotments and leasehold shambas. Be quick to prefer freehold title.
If i forgot something. Be kind to remind me.
Courtesy of Morara Kebaso
For more questions call 0722404397