Masterpiece guide to avoid fraudsters when buying land in Kenya

Be in the know and evade unsolicited financial losses coupled with emotional pains. Follow the proper procedure and exercise extreme caution when taking up this life-changing step.

Masterpiece guide to avoid fraudsters when buying land in Kenya
Masterpiece guide to avoid fraudsters when buying land in Kenya [Photo/ Courtesy]

In Brief

–  Land buying follows the basic principles of the law of contract.

– Land buying requires that all legal and contractual procedures are followed to avoid future conflicts, which may lead to double loss. 

– Before investing your money on any piece of land, follow these steps.

Land is arguably one of the most valuable assets to own in Kenya today. Buying land is definitely a wonderful step to make. However, a good number of land buyers in this country have been left to nurse deep wounds for years after falling prey to unscrupulous dealers. And what’s worse, some of them have even run berserk!

Knowledge is power, they say. Be in the know and evade unsolicited financial losses coupled with emotional pains. Follow the proper procedure and exercise extreme caution when taking up this life-changing step.

 

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Below are the top important steps to pay attention to when buying land;

  1. Ask to see the title deed or copy of the title deed. Do a search at the ministry of lands to confirm who the real owner(s) are or if the title has any Caveat on it. The search will cost you KES 520.
  2. Do a search with the local authorities to check for any unpaid land rates. If any, agree with the seller on who will settle the debt.NB: land can’t be transferred if there are unpaid land rates.
  3. Go to the ministry of lands and buy two maps, one showing the exact measurements of the piece you are buying (called a mutation) and the other showing the neighboring land pieces. Each map costs KES 350.
  4. With your two maps and a surveyor (you can also do it by yourself), visit the land you are buying and verify the details on the map. Check out all the beacons.
  5. Sit down with your seller and haggle on the price. Write down an agreement. The agreement can be done before a lawyer or you may decide to do it by yourselves. It’s not mandatory to engage a lawyer at this point. According to the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), if the value of the land is below KES 1 million, the lawyer’s fee should not exceed KES 3,000. If the land value is above KES 1 million, you should pay at least KES 8,000 for the agreement. Ensure you engage your spouse at this stage if applicable.
  6. Make some partial payment or as per your agreement. Don’t pay fully at this point even if you are able to.
  7. Book a meeting with the Lands Control Board(LCB). They meet once a month. It will cost you KES 1,000. You can also request a special LCB meeting outside the monthly schedule at the cost of KES 5,000. LCB will issue consent for the land to be sold.
  8. Pay the remaining balance after getting consent from LCB.
  9. Clear the remaining payment with the seller or as agreed.
  10. With the consent from LCB, a recent search(not more than 6 months), a clearance form from County land rates, your two maps, the buyer-seller agreement, KRA PIN, two Passports, and a copy of the title deed, go to the ministry of lands to change ownership at a cost of KES 5000.

Can a foreigner buy land in Kenya?

Indeed there is no law that prohibits non-citizens from acquiring and owning freehold land. The Constitution however restricts that ownership to a leasehold of a period of 99 years. The restrictions on ownership of land by foreigners are contained in the Kenyan Constitution and in the Land Control Act.

How much does an acre of land cost in Kenya?

The average land price in Nairobi closed 2019 at Sh5. 2m ($52,000) per acre.

 

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How much is land stamp duty in Kenya?

stamp duty is 4% of property value for urban lands and 2% for rural lands and is payable during land sale. KES 5,000 is charged to obtain and process a new title deed certificate.

How much is land search in Kenya?

land search costs Ksh 500 and can be paid using M-PESA, a Credit card, or a debit card. All landowners are expected to register their contact details with the ministry of land by inputting their full names, ID number, and title deed number in the digital platform.

 

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