If you are buying land in Kenya from an individual or a group, please make sure you follow the following ten steps if you don’t want to lose your money.
1. Ask to see the title deed or copy of title deed. Then do a search at the Ministry of Lands to confirm who the real owners are or if the title has any Caveat on it. The search will cost you Kshs 520.
2. Do a search with the local authorities to check of any unpaid land rates. If any, agree with the seller on who will settle the debt. NB: land can’t be transferred if there are unpaid land rates.
3. Go to the Ministry of Lands and buy 2 maps, one showing the exact measurements of the piece you are buying (called mutation) and the other showing the neighbouring lands. Each costs Kshs 350.
4. With your 2 maps and a surveyor (you can even do it yourself), visit the land you are buying and verify the details on the map. Check out all the beacons.
5. Sit down with your seller and bargain the price. Write down an agreement. The agreement can be done before a lawyer or you may decide to do it yourself. It’s not a must to be written by a lawyer. According to the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), if the value of the land is below 1 million, you pay the lawyer 3k. If it’s above 1 million, you pay 8k for the agreement.
The spouse MUST BE present! Ask me why the spouse must be present.
6. Pay some amounts or as per your agreement. Don’t pay everything, hata kama unazo pesa.
7. Book a meeting with the Lands Control Board (LCB). They meet once a month. It will cost you Kshs 1,000. But there is a special LCB meeting which you can book at 5k. LCB will issue consent for the land to be sold.
8. Pay the remaining balance after getting consent from LCB.
9. With the consent from LCB, a recent search (not more than 6 months), clearance form from County land rates, your 2 maps, the agreement, KRA PIN, 2 passport size photos and a copy of the title deed, go to the Ministry of Lands to change ownership. Cost is Kshs 5000.
10. At this stage, you no longer need the seller. Now go and pay stamp duty i.e. according to the value of the land.
By Philemon Kipkoech Kandie