Buying Land in Kenya: Here’s How it Works

Buying Land in Kenya

Kenyans love the idea of owning land, and buying land in Kenya can be a lucrative investment.

Read on to learn how to buy land in Kenya.

Why Kenyans Love to Buy Land

People associate land ownership with being responsible, shrewd and wise. Most people also believe that at a certain time in one’s life, one should own land or at one plot. Hence, the demand for land in Kenya is high, especially in urban areas.

Buying land in Kenya is often a good investment. Regardless of the area, there is a relatively high probability that it will appreciate in value.

Pressure to own land can, however, lead you to make rash decisions and skip the main procedures that need to be followed.

The following are the main procedures that you need to follow when buying land in Kenya.

Buying Land in Kenya: The Procedures

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1. Search and Inspection

Identifying a piece of land you want to purchase is the first step to land ownership. After this, you need to visit the lands registry office for an official title search and verification.

To facilitate this search, you will need to carry with you the official land title for the land you intent to buy. Hence, this needs to be done in partnership with the person or entity that is selling the land to you. The aim of this search is to ascertain the real owner of the land and if it is cleared for sale. The search can take up to three working days.

2. Price Negotiation & Offers

After the search at the registry, you now can negotiate the price you will pay for the intended land you want to buy. As the buyer, you need to take lead in this process to make sure the results at the land registry are legitimate before you pay any money to the seller.

Most buyers’ start price negotiation before doing the land search but that is not recommended. For this step, it is advisable to involve an advocate to prepare legal sale agreement documents that detail, the seller, the buyer, the property description, the offer on the table and the intended mode of payment.

3. Sale Agreement and Payment

It’s always advisable to first sign the sale agreement before transferring any payments to the seller. Ensure that you have read and understood the terms set on the agreement before paying your first deposit.

The best practice is for both the seller and buyer to have their advocate ratify the agreement before a deposit is made. Once both parties are happy, the payment can be made.

4. Consent and Transfer of the Documents

You will also need to transfer the land documents under your name. Usually, at the land registry, the new landowner’s details need to be captured appropriately. To complete this, you need consent from the seller. They are required to sign a land transfer consent form at the land commissioner office. This means that consent and transfer documents are some of the forms to fill when buying land in Kenya.

As the buyer, you have the responsibility to make sure the land details transfer is effective. The transfer of details stage is the main indicator the land belongs to you. Buying land in Kenya doesn’t have to be complicated if you follow the right steps.

5. Valuation and Payment of Stamp Duty

The final stage is the valuation and payment of the stamp duty for your newly acquired land. There are various approved government land valuers that can conduct this process for you.

The valuation is usually done for the purposes of stamp duty payment. Paying your stamp duty is important in registering the property under your name. The government valuer determines the stamp duty fees payable for the specific land valued. The valuation report obtained helps to determine the true value of the land according to market rates at the time of land transfer to the new buyer.

Once the valuation is done, the buyer is then obligated to pay the remaining balance for the land to the seller and thus, the land shall have changed ownership from the seller to the buyer.

Land Prices in Kenya

Land prices in Kenya vary depending on many factors, such as:

  • The location
  • Amenities in the vicinity
  • Value of the land neighbourhood
  • Size of the land
  • Proximity to major spots like airports, ports, etc.

Buying land in Kenya can be relatively easy and stress-free if you do your due diligence. Be sure to follow all the processes legally required before paying for any land.

Once you have done your research and zeroed in on a piece of land, involve a lawyer immediately. This will make sure that you’ve completed all the required processes to avoid being duped.

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