Steps to Buying Land from Owner

Steps to Buying Land from Owner

Buying Land in Kenya

Land investment continues to be an assured way towards building and accumulating wealth for individuals venturing into the real estate industry.

The process of acquiring real estate can be really thrilling most especially to first timers.

However, fraud and theft are often encountered and thus making it necessary for people to practice a number of safety measures as they launch forward in the real estate market.

Ownership of land has evolved from how it was before the colonial period where individual ownership of land was less considered.

The steps to take in buying land

In as much as the process of buying land can take a longer period of time, being in tune with the processes will go a long way in ensuring your worries and concerns are at ease.

This will also ensure that the process goes by easily as you will already have the needed documents a hand even prior to transactions.

Identification of Land

The first step for soon to be land owners is to identify the piece of land that meets their criteria such as the location, the size as well as the particular use that one may have in mind.

Search at the Ministry of Lands

After you have identified the Land that best suits your needs, it is important to conduct a search on the title at the Lands registry.

Normally, while conducting a search, it takes two hours for the results to be established, after filling the search application form. In order to conduct the search, you will be needed to fill this Search Request Form which is obtained at the Lands Registry accompanied by these documents: a copy of the title deed, a copy of your Identification card as well as a copy of the Kenya Revenue Authorities (KRA) pin certificate. The search results will be ready in an average of three days, after the Lands Registration officer fills the form with the details of the status of the Land. This is charged at Kshs. 520.

Search results show details of the land including the registered owner of the land, acreage as well as any caveats registered against the title deed. A valid search should be no more than six months old.

Search at the County Office

This search helps to unearth any unpaid land rates which should be factored in the purchase price. The certificate of clearance can be obtained from City Hall. It costs up to Kshs. 7,500 but the fee varies One County from the other.

If your search results indicate that the property can be sold, then you are free to dive in to the next step.

Obtaining of Land Maps

One will need two maps from the Lands Ministry, one being an overview of the land and adjacent plots while the other is a drawn to scale map.

Verification of the Ground

With the two maps at hand, you will want to make a site visit to the property with the seller. One may also prefer bringing along a surveyor to assist in verification of the dimensions. Where the land already has beacons, we would consider that as an added advantage. In the case of absence of these beacons, the surveyor and the seller will assist in erecting them in order to prevent future disputes.

Sale Agreement

This sale agreement is more often drawn by the seller’s lawyer. You should also have your own lawyer to represent your best interest since all applications for land title deeds and land transfer of ownership are done with the help of a lawyer.

The lawyer will assist in signing the agreement. The seller may require you to pay a certain percentage of the purchase price as deposit.

Consent of Land Transfer

Consent of Land transfer is given by the County Land Control Board (LBD). The Land Control Board comprises of the County Commissioner and area elders. They are responsible for ensuring that all land transfers are transparent. The LCB meet once in a month to deliberate on requests for transfer of land hence the process takes 30 days.

You should ask for approval of transfer of land within 60 days of drawing the agreement.

Stamping of transfer

You should use the valuation form filled by your seller to apply for valuation by the government valuer. Land valuation for the purpose of transfer was previously done by a government valuer.

You can get a valuer at the Valuation and Land Administration Division of the County Lands office. The new Cabinet Secretary of The Ministry of Lands appointed a list of private valuers who will work hand in hand in assisting the ministry run smoothly. As deploying the help of a government valuer does not incur any cost, if you decide to get services from a private valuer, you should be ready to pay the due cost of his/her services.

As a final step and as a means of confirmation, one can conduct a post purchase search for confirmation that the property indeed bears your name.

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