REGISTERING PROPERTY: Steps that a buyer and seller must complete to transfer the property to the buyer’s name

REGISTERING PROPERTY

A set of specific procedures/steps that a buyer and seller must complete to transfer the property to the buyer’s name.

Summary of time, cost and procedures for registering property in Kenya

  1. Apply and Obtain Land Rent Clearance Certificate from the Commissioner of Lands

The Seller’s lawyer obtains the Land Rent Clearance Certificate from the lands office at no cost.

Agency:                      Lands Office

Time to complete:      19 days (simultaneous with Procedures 2, 3 and 4)

Cost to complete:       no cost

  1. *Apply, pay and obtain Rates Clearance Certificate from the Nairobi City Council

The Seller’s lawyer obtains the Rates Clearance Certificate from the Nairobi City County Government. This certificate is important proof that there are no outstanding fees to be paid to the Nairobi City County Government.

Agency:                      Nairobi City County Government

Time to complete:      5 days (simultaneous with Procedure 1, 3 and 4)

Cost to complete:       Ksh.10,000

  1. *Draft the transfer instrument and file it at the Lands Office to obtain an appointment for valuation

The transfer instrument is prepared by the buyer’s lawyer and needs to be approved by the seller’s counterpart. Lawyers’ fees are calculated based on a fixed scale published under the Advocates (Remuneration) Order depending on the value of the property. Lawyers are also permitted to charge on alternative billing methods subject to the minimum fees set out under the scaled provided for under the Advocates (Remuneration) Order. The transfer instrument is filed at the Land office to be assessed for Stamp duty.

Agency:                      Lawyer’s office

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Time to complete:      4 days (simultaneous with Procedures 1, 2 and 4)

Cost to complete:       According to the Advocates Remuneration Order for 2014 the lawyer’s fee is calculated cumulatively, based on the property’s value:

  • From Ksh.1 – Ksh.5,000,000;

2% of the consideration or the value of the subject matter or Ksh.35,000 whichever is higher.

  • From Ksh.5,000,001 – Ksh.100,000,000;

The fee prescribed in (i) plus 1.5% of the balance.

  • From Ksh.100,000,001 – Ksh.250,000,000;

The fee prescribed in (ii) plus 1.25 % of the balance.

  • From Ksh.250,000,001 – Ksh.1,000,000,000;

The fee prescribed in (iii) plus 1% of the balance

  • In respect of an amount where the consideration or value is more than Ksh.1,000,000,000, the fee set out in (iv) plus 0.1% of the balance.
  1. *Apply for a search on the title at the Lands Office

The Registered Land Act has been repealed by the Land Registration Act (Act No. 3 of 2012). For land previously registered under the Registered Land Act, it is still necessary to provide a copy of the title document at the time of applying for the search. The position reported last year i.e. one cannot carry out a personal search but must instead apply for an official search still applies.

Agency:                      Lands Office

Time to complete:      3 days (simultaneous with Procedures 1, 2 and 3)

Cost to complete:       Ksh.520

  1. Apply and obtain consent to transfer from the Lands Office

With effect from August 27, 2010 when the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 was promulgated, the Land Registration Act (No. 3 of 2012) repealed the Government Lands Act (Cap. 280) and consent to transfer leasehold land held by the Government of the Republic of Kenya under the repealed Act is now required to be obtained from the lands office. Previously, such consent was required to be obtained from the Commissioner of Lands and that office was abolished by the repeal of the Government Lands Act.

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Agency:                      Lands office

Time to complete:      9 days

Cost to complete:       Ksh.1,000

  1. Receive site inspection by Government valuer and obtain valuation report

Once the draft transfer has been filed at the land office, an inspector visits the site to verify the development and state of the property. Due to lack of transport, in practice, the inspector often has to be picked up in person and driven to the site. Previously, such inspections were conducted on a random basis, but now every transaction requires such an inspection. The issues involved are similar to the inspections by the land officer and, therefore, may happen within 1 day to up to over one month. Once the valuer has inspected the property to assess its value, a report is compiled after which the value is endorsed on the transfer and then it is submitted for assessment of the Stamp duty.

Agency:                      Lands office Valuer

Time to complete:      20 days

Cost to complete:       no cost

  1. Endorsement of value for stamp duty purposes and assessment of Stamp duty

The Stamp Duty Assessment form is completed including the purchase price (in quadruplet). The stamp duty assessment officer stationed at the Ministry of Lands banking hall will then assess the stamp duty payable and indicate the amount on the Forms. Stamping of the document takes on average 3 days.

Agency:                      Lands Office

Time to complete:      4 days

Cost to complete:       no cost

  1. Payment of Stamp Duty at Commercial Bank and receive confirmation of payment from Kenya Revenue Authority

The payment of Stamp Duty is made at Commercial Bank designated by the Ministry of Land. If the amount exceed Ksh.1 million, payment is made by RTGS bank transfer. It takes about 4 days for the Kenya Revenue Authority to confirm receipt of payment after which the transfer agreement can be franked or embossed evidencing payment of stamp duty.

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Agency:                      Commercial Bank

Time to complete:      4 days

Cost to complete:       Ksh.110 (charge for Banker’s check) + 4% of property value (stamp Duty)

  1. Lodge stamped transfer document for registration and receive duly registered documents

The stamped transfer documents are lodged for registration at the Lands Office. These documents are generally obtained from seller’s lawyers, these being original Certificate of Title, Rates Clearance Certificate, Land Rent Clearance Certificate and the Consent Transfer. Inform seller’s lawyers of registration and pay balance of the purchase price. The certificate of the registered transfer is collected at the Lands Office.

Agency:                      Lands Office

Time to complete:      5 days

Cost to complete:       Ksh.500

 

* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.

Source: Doing Business database.

Mr. Felix
A Math Nerd and a Computer Geek. Currently a Windows 10 Insider. Interested in AI, big data and AR/VR. Takes a keen interest in developments in the tech, business and social media spheres.

Mr. Felix

A Math Nerd and a Computer Geek. Currently a Windows 10 Insider. Interested in AI, big data and AR/VR. Takes a keen interest in developments in the tech, business and social media spheres.

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