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Land Owners in Kenya to apply for New Title Deeds

Why all land owners will have to apply for new title deeds

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The Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning announced the commencement of the land conversion process on January 12th 2021. This was done by the Cabinet Secretary of The Ministry of Lands, Miss. Faridah Karoney.

Following this announcement, The Ministry will be issuing new title deeds to replace those that were issued under the repealed laws.

The title deeds issued under multiple land regimes will be brought to a single land regime under the Land Registration Act of 2012.

For Kenyans who own land or plots that have titles, it is important to note that they will be required to apply for fresh title deeds.

This was all in a view of migrating to the newly enacted Land laws. It was necessitated by the need to have centralized land registration processes that would eliminate fraud as well as threats to the right of property as well as service delivery.

This cancellation and replacement however, will migrate these land parcels to the new regime while still retaining the initial ownership, size as well as any other interests registered under the respective title.

The Ministry initially issued titles under the now repealed Land Laws which are: The Land Titles Act (Cap. 282) , The Registration of Titles Act (Cap. 281), The Indian Transfer of Property Act, 1882, The Government Lands Act, (cap.280), The Registered Land Act (Cap. 300).

Title deeds issued under The Registered Land Act (RLA) and The Registration of Titles Act (RTA) are the most common in Kenya.

Title documents held by third parties or financiers including banks, hospitals and courts as security at the time of commencement shall be replaced upon application by the proprietor.

Replacement of the title deeds will follow a process set by the Land Registration order, passed by parliament in 2017. This will fully utilize use of Registry Index Maps (RIMs) as registration instruments.

RIMs display all land parcels within an area as opposed to deed plans which capture data on only one specific parcel. RIMs make it easy for one to note any alterations and changes.

The conversion process will begin with the preparation of cadastral maps as well as graphical indices of parcels and a conversion list which will show the old land reference number and the new one within a registration unit or block as well as its corresponding acreages.

At the commencement date, all registers shall be closed and all transactions carried out in the new register. However, all the closed registers and supporting documents shall be maintained in the new registration unit.

A notice shall be published in the Kenya gazette as well as in daily newspapers of nationwide circulation specifying when the register will be open for title deed holders to make application for replacement of title documents.

The application shall be accompanied by the original title and the owner’s identification documents.

The registrar will replace title deeds with new ones but retain the old title documents for record and safe custody.

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