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Here are the legal steps one needs to follow if they want to acquire land in Kenya.
If you are buying land or a plot from an individual or a group, follow the following steps:
- Ask to see the title deed or copy of title deed. Then do a search at the ministry of lands to confirm who the real owners are or if the title has any caveat on it. The search will cost you ksh 250. / $ 2.5
- Do a search with the local authorities to check of any unpaid land rates, if any agree with the seller on who will settle the debt. Point to note land cannot be transferred if there are unpaid land rates.
- Go to the Ministry of Lands and buy 2 maps, one showing the exact measurements of the piece you are buying (called Mutation) and the other showing the neighboring lands each of which that cost ksh 350. / $ 3.5
- With your 2 maps and a surveyor (you can even do it yourself), visit the land you are buying and verify the details on the map. Check out all the beacons.
- Sit down with your seller and bargain on the price. Write down an agreement. The agreement can be done before the lawyer or you may decide to do it by both yourselves. It is not a must for it to be written by a lawyer, should you want to involve a lawyer, according to LSK (law society of Kenya),if the value of the land is below 1M / $ 10,000 ,you pay the lawyer ksh 3,000 /$ 30,if it is above 1M/ $ 10,000 you pay ksh 8,000 /$ 80 for the agreement. The spouse must be present if you are buying from an individual.
- Pay some amount or as per your agreement. Don’t pay everything even if you have.
- Book a meeting with the lands control board(LCB). They meet once a month. It will cost you ksh 1,000 / $ 10, but there is a special LCB meeting which you can book at ksh 5,000 / $ 50. (For you to meet them quickly even before the month ends). LCB will issue consent for the land to be sold.
- Pay the remaining balance after getting consent from LCB.
- With the consent from LCB, a receipt search (which must not be valid for not more than 6 months), clearance from county land rates, your 2 maps, the agreement, KRA PIN,2 passports and a copy of the title deed, go to the Ministry of Lands to change ownership. It costs ksh 5,000 /$ 50.
- At this stage, you no longer need the seller. Now go and pay stamp duty that is according to the value of the land 4% of sale value in municipalities. or 2% of sale value in reserves.
- Now the land belongs to you, but before celebrating, go to the ministry and do another search to confirm if it really reads your name. Upon verifying it reads your name, the land is now legally yours.
Nb. The charges indicated might be amended by the relevant authorities involved, should a need arise which will be communicated as per the gazzettment as provided by the constitution.