Replacement of Old Land Tittle Deeds

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Faridah Karoney, The Cabinet secretary of The Ministry of Lands, in a press conference in Nairobi, announced that due to the transition to a new registration system, the ministry will be issuing new title deeds to replace those issued under repealed laws.

This is with a view of migrating to the newly enacted Land Registration Act, 2012. It is necessitated by the need to have centralized land registration processes eliminating fraud, delays in service delivery and threats to the right of property.

The cancellation and replacement will migrate the parcels to the new regime while retaining ownership, size as well as any other interests registered against the respective title.

The laws which were repealed by enactment of the Land Registration Act include:

  • 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)

A gazette notice published by The Lands Cabinet Secretary Karoney, on the 31st of December, informed landowners in Nairobi of changes in their Land reference numbers.

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. This will replace the deed plans and further minimize land fraud.

These Registry Index Maps are generated from survey plans with fixed boundaries therefore no boundaries will be affected. These maps are accessible to land owners on request as well as the survey plans. They display all land parcels within an area as opposed to a deed plan that captures data only on one specific parcel. In case of verification of boundary details they are obtained from the Survey of Kenya Headquarters in Ruaraka.

The parcel numbers

The conversion process will entail preparation of cadastral maps together with a conversion list indicating new and old parcel numbers within a registration unit or registration section/ block and their corresponding acreages. This is to eliminate overlap of the land parcels.

“Title documents held by third parties including banks, hospitals, and courts as security at the time of commencement shall be replaced upon application by the proprietor. The general public is advised to take note of the converted parcel numbers,” Karoney said.

The Lands CS Karoney explained that The Land Registration Act was enacted in 2012 which unified the registration regime in Kenya under the statute and repealed all other Land registration Statutes. The country had however not migrated to the exclusive use of the new Act and continued to ride on the transitional clauses and operated as though the statutes had not been repealed.

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Title deeds issued before 2012 bore the title of the now-repealed Registered Land Act, but titles issued after 2012 bear the titles of both the repealed and the new law.

The conversion begins with the Ministry of Lands preparing cadastral maps, graphical indices of parcels and a conversion list which will show the old land reference number and the new one.

The migration of titles cannot happen all at once. However, Ardhi House is silent on the time it will take to produce the new titles. The CS stated that the process was going to commence in Nairobi and will be done in batches.

As the country goes Digital, the ministry is going to migrate the titles until the process is completed. Nairobi is expected to have gone fully digital in a month.

Thereafter, any person with an interest in land in the registration unit shall lodge a complaint to the registrar who shall resolve the same within 90 days of receipt.

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 will be published in at least two newspapers of nationwide circulation and announced in radio stations of nationwide coverage inviting registered owners to make application for replacement of title documents from the closed registers.

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.

However, the biggest challenge to this process would be the confidence the public has on the government as this will inform how the process will be received, Land Development and Governance Institute (LDGI) confirms.

Does the public trust that when they deliver their titles but don’t get the replacement on the same day that they would be comfortable getting it at any other.

Engage only a trusted real estate company that deals with buying land in Kenya that has ready Title Deeds. That is Denver Group Limited.