Buying land in Kenya has many hurdles including the chance of being conned because of t he various processes that are involved. Brokers are sometimes involved in the process which makes it harder for Kenyans to purchase land.
The Ministry of Lands in Kenya moved the land search function online in 2016. This step of course helped to minimize cases of land fraud but it is always better to safe than sorry.
Anyway, here’s the process you should follow if you want to buy land in Kenya.
1. Title deed
You should ask to see the original title deed or copy of the title deed.
2. Land search
You should then use the title deed to conduct a search at the ministry of lands to confirm who the real owners are or if the title deed has any caveat on it, The search will cost you Ksh. 520.
You can also do the land search online as follows;
- Log onto the e-Citizen portal and sign up (if already registered sign in)
- Click on Ministry of Land, Housing & Urban Development link and choose Land Search
- Enter the title number e.g Nairobi/Block123/321. Fill the online form and submit.
- Confirm details and proceed to pay using the available payment methods which include mpesa, debit cards, credit cards or bank transfers.
- Once the payment has been confirmed, the applicant can then proceed to print the results. However, if you decide not to print the results will still be available online in your e-Citizen account.
3. Search with local authorities
You should also do a search with local authorities to check if there any unpaid land rates. If there are any unpaid land rates, you can agree with the seller who will settle the land rates.
It is important to note that land cannot be transferred if they are unpaid land rates.
4. Maps from the Ministry of Lands
You should go to the Ministry of Lands and buy 2 Maps. One should show the exact measurements of the land you are buying, called mutation, and the other should show the neighbouring lands. Each map costs Ksh. 350.
With the 2 maps you have acquired from the Ministry of Land, you should visit the land and verify the details on the map. You should also confirm the presence of beacons. If you can, visit the land with a surveyor.
6. Price of the land
Based on the information you have gathered, meet the seller of the land and agree on the price. Write a sale agreement, preferably in the presence of a lawyer.
According to the Law Society of Kenya (LSK, if the value of the land is below Ksh. 1 million you can pay the lawyer Ksh. 3,000 for coming up with the agreement. If it is above Ksh. 1 million you can pay the lawyer Ksh. 8,000 for the agreement.
Once the agreement is signed, pay a deposit for the land. Do not pay the whole amount even if the agreement is okay or if you have the whole amount at hand.
8. Lands Control Board
Book a meeting with Lands Control Board (LCB) which has to give consent for the land to be sold. The Board meets once a month. This will cost you Ksh. 1,000.
9. Pay the balance
You can pay the remaining balance of the land after getting consent from Lands Control Board.
10. Change ownership of land
To change the ownership of the land, you need to go to Ministry of Lands offices with your KRA PIN, 2 passport photos and a copy of the title deed. This process will cost you Ksh. 5,000.
11. Stamp duty
You then need to pay stamp duty based on the value of the land.
It is usually as follows;
- 4% of sales value in municipalities
- 2% of sales value in reserves
12. Final land search
Once you have completed all the processes above, the land now belong to you. However, to just confirm, go to the Ministry of Land and conduct a search to confirm that they have updated their records and the land is actually in your name.