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Types of Title Deeds, Process of Land Search, and Title Transfer

So if you’re a typical Kenyan who has heard about investing in land where do you start? Tricky question, I would actually say you start with Denver Group.                                                                    So to begin with let’s find out a few terms that we need to know about the land process. For starters, a Title Deed.

A title deed is a document that states and proves a person’s legal right to own a property in this case land. In order to know more about the property one is interested in, the next step will be to conduct a land search, which can be done online, or manually refer to our previous article to get  more details.

Types of Title Deeds in Kenya

Having defined what a title deed is let’s delve further into various types of title deeds according to the Land Acts.

  • Indenture Title

    – It was a title under the Government Lands Act Cap 280 and has been repealed since.

  • Grant Title

    – It was a Government grant under the Registration of Titles Act Cap 281 and a county  council grant under Trust Land Cap 288 (both have been repealed).

  • Certificate of Lease

    – A title under the Registered Lands Act Cap 300 (repealed) for leasehold land. Leasehold is a form of land tenure system where the occupant has the rights to the land for a specified period of time and adheres to the conditions set by the owner.

  • Certificate of Title

    – A title issued due to subdivision without change of user, it is under Registered Lands Act Cap 21.

  • Absolute Title

    – This is a tittle under the Registered Lands Act Cap 300 (repealed) for freehold land meaning the current owner of the land has maximum rights to the property until the period expires.

  • Sectional Title

    – It is a title for a unit within a building for instance an apartment

Conducting a Land Search in Kenya

We should establish that land searches should be conducted so that one can be sure of the property they are buying to avoid being conned and other issues that may arise after the purchase. In the previous section there was a link to a guide on how one can conduct a land search online and now we’ll look at how to go about it manually. First and foremost one needs to have the following:

  • Copy of your Identification Card.
  • Copy of KRA Pin Certificate.
  • Copy of the Land Title Deed (4 pages).
  • A filled Search Request Form.

Once ownership of land has been established, one can take the next step of transferring the title deed. In cases where land is being bought through a real estate firm a lawyer is not a requirement, but when dealing with an individual it is important to have one present. The process of transferring a title deed may take up to three months before completion. The following documents are required in this process:

  • A copy of the valuation report.
  • Consent to transfer from the commissioner of Land.
  • Stamp duty assessment form and proof of payment.
  • Rent clearance certificate.
  • Copy of identification card and KRA pin certificate.
  • 2 copies of colored passport sized photos for the parties involved in the transaction.
  • Transfer consent from the commissioner of lands or the land control board.
  • The title deed.
  • Land rent clearance certificate.

Process for Title Deed Transfer in Kenya

The following steps are involved in transferring a title deed:

  • The individual interested in buying the land obtains a land rent clearance certificate from the commissioner of lands office, which should take about three weeks and should be acquired at no cost in most cases.
  • The one responsible for selling the land ought to obtain a rates clearance certificate from the county the land is located in by applying and paying a fee of about Ksh 10,000.
  • Application for a search of the title deed which takes about 3 working days at a cost of Ksh 1500.
  • The one selling the land should apply and obtain the consent to transfer from the National land commission which costs around Ksh 1000 and should be out in about 14 days.
  • Valuation of the land by a government valuer to ascertain the amount to be paid as stamp duty.
  • Paying the stamp duty, the amount indicated on the valuation report is to be paid to the commissioner for Domestic taxes (KRA) and the receipt kept as proof of payment.
  • The final step of the transfer is to lodge stamped transfer documents for registration at the local land office this process takes about 2 weeks.

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