Kenya is a free country holding almost all the types of people. The process of buying land in Kenya is legalized and allowed to all the people including the non-citizens. The buyers and sellers however need to observe the set procedures when doing their transactions. Law of contract principles govern the land buying and selling. The land defects for example are not mentioned by the seller to the buyer. The buyer is expected to know that and choose if it is okay or not. The land title is the only document of importance that the seller should disclose its condition. This is because they are sometimes used as loan securities. A legal procedure for buying land in Kenya involves the following steps.
1. Land identification
It is the first step where the buyer has to do some research in order to spot the right plot to buy. Preferences and conditions vary between people. These are in terms of plot size, soil type, location, security etc. The suitable plot choice should generally meet the desires and minimum requirements set.
2. Land registry search
This is a very essential steps and a highly recommended one. Some Kenyans are not to be trusted. Cases have come up where someone sells another person’s land and also fake title deeds. The buyer fills a form with the ministry of lands and the search results are presented after a fee of Kshs 500 is paid. An attachment of the title deed is required at this step. It helps determine if the land is safe for purchase.
3. Sale agreement
After the above steps are complete and successful, the buyer appoints an advocate for sale agreement representation purposes. The sale agreement is the document prepared by seller’s lawyer. It contains terms of the agreement and the details. These include the participants’ names, mode of payment and land price. When all are conversant, the document is signed and the buyer pays some deposit. The stamp duty is also necessary here to make the whole transaction legally abiding.
4. Completion documents transfer and procurement
Your advocate prepares this transfer documents and the seller’s lawyer has to approve it. The sellers procures the completion documents at their cost. These include title deeds (original), 3 passport photos, certificate of registration, land duly (3 copies), clearance certificate for land rent, clearance certificates for rates, valuation form of duly and other legal documents. The buyer too signs the document and produces a pin certificate, passport photos and ID card copies.
5. Transfer stamping
A stamp duty fee has to be paid and it varies according to the transactions. The buyer applies for land valuation by state valuer . After the payment, the stamp is applied in the lands offices. Afterwards, buyers book registration documents including land rent, title deeds, consent to transfer, valuation report, pay in slip and declaration stamp duty.
6. Transfer registration
The entire transaction is registered favoring the buyer. Land or plot is then considered to belong to the buyer. The process of buying land in Kenya is a simple one if only the above steps are keenly observed.