Can Foreigners Buy Property In Kenya

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  • Post last modified:April 13, 2022
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Affordable Plots for Sale in Kenya

Buying properties in Kenya is a complex task and most foreigners’ major concern. Many of them are not sure if they can buy or be involved with properties in Kenya. We shall be giving answers to this question in this article.

Foreigners can own properties in Kenya according to the Kenyan constitution. This is clearly spelled under the land registration act where it states that any person can own land as an individual or a group. Unfortunately, many foreigners have been told that it’s impossible for them to buy property unless they partner with the local Kenyans.

Such agreements and partnerships do not end well as many foreigners are eventually duped and left to count losses after unending court battles. It is, therefore, important for any foreigner to do proper research and engage professionals in property ownership before purchasing any property. 

Additionally, any foreigner interested in owning a property in Kenya should understand the legal provisions related to property ownership for foreigners.

Which are the Land Ownership Limitations In Kenya

Any foreigner willing to buy land in Kenya is subject to particular limitations. The property ownership limitations by foreigners in Kenya are available in the land control Act (Cap 302) and the 2010 constitution. 

Article 65(1) of the constitution states that anyone who is not a Kenyan citizen may own land on leasehold basis only. However, if they are granted such a lease, it should not exceed 99 years. The good news is that at the lapse of the lease term, the foreigner who owns the property can request a renewal of the lease.

Additionally, if a foreigner wishes to buy land through a land selling company, it should be owned by one or more Kenyan Citizens. Constitutionally, any company whose shareholders exceed one foreigner is termed as a foreign company, and it is not permitted to own any freehold land.

Moreover, the constitution also states that any freehold interest land in Kenya that is held by a non- Kenyan citizen shall go back to the Kenyan government and the foreigner shall be granted rent that is extremely low for the 99 years.

 Do Foreigners Own  Agricultural Land

Foreigners are not allowed to own agricultural land in Kenya. This is according to land control acts which have controlled transactions that affect agricultural land. However, foreigners can be exempted from these restrictions by the president of Kenya through a gazette notice. Any foreigner willing to invest in agricultural land may make an exemption application which is only given at the president’s discretion.

Foreigners can buy properties in Kenya although there are constitutional limitations. However, this should not hold anyone from owning property since there is always a way out. Foreigners can incorporate companies like Denver Group Limited whose shareholder is a Kenyan. 

Both parties enter into a declaration of trust, which states that the local shareholders are legal owners, but not the beneficial owners. As much as it’s possible for foreigners to buy properties in Kenya, they should take time and understand the constitution since it is the standard set for that.

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