How to Legally Acquire a Title Deed in Kenya

There are various steps involved in the acquisition of a title deed in Kenya.. It is done with the help of a lawyer for both the seller and the buyer.

How to Legally Acquire a Title Deed in Kenya

1. Obtain an Official Land Search

This is a very vital process in the acquisition of a title deed. This process can be done both manually or online. This process helps one to know if the land is owned by anyone else except the seller or if anyone else is registered under it.

2. Obtain Transfer Documents

There are various steps here which are:

a) Apply pay and obtain a rates clearance certificate from the county government

This is done by the seller's lawyer, whereby the lawyer has to go to the local county government lands office where he will check if there are any outstanding land rates and pay if any then after the clearance the country government will issue a land rate clearance certificate.

b)  Apply and obtain a land rent clearance certificate

This certificate is issued by the commissioner of lands upon the payment of all outstanding land rents

c) apply and obtain a transfer form from the commissioner of land

After the payment of the issuance of the land rent and the land rate clearance certificate, the application of the transfer form is made in writing by the lawyer to the lands commissioner and the prescribed form executed for consent to transfer the desired property after the payment of the prescribed charges.

d) File the transfer instrument at the land office for assessment of stamp duty payable on the transfer

The buyer's lawyer drafts a transfer which has to be approved by the seller's lawyer before it is submitted to the lands registry for assessment.

3. Obtain Valuation for Stamp Duty

a) Get an inspection by a land officer

After the draft transfer has been sent to the lands office, it in turn sends an inspector to visit the site to verify the state of the property and the development

b) Obtain a valuation of property by a government evaluator.

The evaluator visits the site to evaluate and verify the indicated purchase price of the land in order to ensure accurate payment of tax (stamp duty)

4. Stamp Duty Payment

a) Endorsement of value for stamp duty and assessment of it

Once stamp duty forms are fully filled the stamp duty officer accesses and indicates the stamp duty payable.

b) Payments of stamp duty

The payments must be done through the specified Banks and commercial banks. The payments should be done by use of bankers cheque to the commissioner of domestic taxes on behalf of the commissioner of land.

c) Obtaining a franked document

Once stamp duty is paid the transfer documents are submitted for franking to confirm that the taxes have been fully paid.

5. Land Registration 

Pay registration fees

Lodge the completion documents with the land's office for registration of the transfer.

After successful registration the buyer receives:

a) An original title deed with his/her name on it.

b) Registered transfer forms

c)The pay-in-slip for custom duty.

After a week or two, the buyer should do another search with the land's commission to check if the land is now registered in his or her name.