A comprehensive guide on how to buy land in Kenya, safely without being scammed
Buying land is a substantial investment, and in Kenya, it’s a significant step towards securing a valuable asset.
To ensure a safe and secure land purchase, it is crucial to be well-informed and thorough in your due diligence.
Let’s explore the general process of acquiring land in Kenya and how to protect yourself from potential scams.
Step 1: Identifying Your Land
The first step in the land buying process is to identify the specific piece of land you wish to purchase. You must consider your intended use for the land, whether it is for residential, commercial, industrial, or agricultural purposes.
Step 2: Conducting Due Diligence
One of the most critical aspects of buying land is conducting due diligence. This involves several key steps to ensure the land’s authenticity and legal status.
2.1 Title Deed Search: To begin, you need to obtain a copy of the title deed for the land you intend to buy. This is a crucial document that proves ownership. You can obtain this copy either online or by visiting the land registry office in the area where the land is located. You will also need a copy of the seller’s identity card and KRA PIN.
2.2 Land Rates Check: To ascertain whether there are any unpaid land rates associated with the land you plan to purchase, you can perform a land rates search at the County office where the land is situated. A nominal search fee is usually required for this service.
2.3 Land Maps: Acquiring land maps is the next step. You should obtain at least two land maps from either the land registry or a local surveyor. One map should be drawn to scale, providing precise measurements of the land, while the other should offer an overview of the land and its neighboring plots.
2.4 Physical Verification: After obtaining the maps, visit the actual location of the land to authenticate its features, as presented on the maps. If everything checks out, you can go ahead and place beacons, if needed, to delineate the boundaries accurately.
Step 3: Sale Agreement
Once due diligence is complete, the buyer and seller should engage a lawyer to draft a comprehensive sale agreement. This document includes vital details such as the purchase price, payment methods, and the mode of payment. Having a well-crafted sale agreement is essential to protect your interests legally.
Step 4: Land Control Board Clearance
To ensure transparency and legality in the transaction, it is advisable to obtain clearance from the Land Control Board.
Step 5: Land Valuation and Stamp Duty
At this stage, you need to apply for a land valuation, which is done at the land registry where the land is located. The land’s office will compute the stamp duty based on the land’s value and location.
Step 6: Land Transfer
The buyer and seller should both sign the necessary transfer forms. The seller must personally visit the land registry for the transfer process. Subsequently, the seller will receive a new title deed, indicating the transfer of ownership, and the old title deed will be invalidated.
Step 7: Land Registry Confirmation
Finally, after the transfer process is complete, perform a search at the land registry to confirm that the land has been successfully transferred to your name. This step ensures that you are the legitimate owner of the land.