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5 Ways to avoid being conned when buying land in Kenya

In the news, you may hear or read about stories about Kenyans who have lost a lot of money to conmen and conwomen while trying to acquire land. The sad part of the story is that these Kenyans are losing their hard-earned money due to a lack of knowledge about land transactions.

To prevent being conned when buying a property, make sure you verify the land before committing your money to it. You, the buyer, the seller, lawyer, a witness, and the land ministry are all involved in the land purchase technique. Here are a few things to keep in mind while purchasing land to avoid being duped.

Verification on the ground

This is the first step you should do to ensure that the land you are purchasing actually exists. Many people are being conned when buying their property because they trust their agents and fail to do ground verification. You have the right to verify the property existence as buyer before purchasing it. Approval of the land’s existence aids in avoiding major blunders or land conflicts. If you can communicate with the residents in your neighbourhood, you will be able to confirm and discover whether they agree with the land borders. Ensure that all of the map’s content is rendered to scale in all dimensions, and that all of the beacons are working.

Ground verification requires the seller and surveyor to visit the property on the ground to validate the dimensions from the scaled map. Because the land is still in the seller’s control, the ground verification costs should be covered by him. However, depending on the arrangement, both parties may be able to share the costs.

Go to the Ministry of the Land and do a search.

This ensures that the seller is the rightful owner of the property. At this point, you will seek a copy of the land’s title deed, which will tell you whether the land is owned by another person, whether it is unrestricted for sale, and whether the title is subject to any restrictions. The search should be done at the ministry of the land. Once a month, the land control board meets. A meeting with them can be planned at a price.  However, if there is a pressing need, they will arrange a special meeting at a greater cost.

They will then provide you the search results within a few hours or days. It’s worth noting that the Registrar of Lands should sign off on the search results. Verify that the name on the land’s ministry corresponds to the seller’s name based on the research results. When Caution comes at this, as unscrupulous vendors can create fake ID cards with the same names as the ones in the title act.  So, how do you go about it? The names must be verified with the Registrar of lands.


Sale agreement signed by both parties.

 When buying land, it is advisable you get a property advocate to avoid being conned when buying your property. All land transfers are required by law to be documented. Now is the time to contact your lawyer, who will assist you in drafting an agreement, which you will sign alongside the seller. However, before signing, double-check that the information on the agreement corresponds to what you confirmed at the land ministry. Occasionally, merchants present contradictory information, putting you in a tough situation once the payment is made.


Secure transfer documents

After you’ve paid the agreed-upon fee, the seller will sign the land transfer documents. The buyer then goes to the ministry of land with the approval of the land control board, three passport-sized photos, the KRA PIN certificate, and other pertinent documents.


Pay Stamp Duty and transfer fees

You are going to apply for a land valuation here. Using a form signed by the land’s seller. A government appraiser will accomplish this. The stamp duty payable is calculated using the paperwork filed by the owner. In rural areas, the stamp duty should be 2% of the land value, while in urban areas, it should be 4%.

One week after purchasing the land, the buyer should conduct another search with the Ministry of Lands to ensure that the land is now under their possession. It has a significant influence because it is a critical stage in purchasing land.


Bottom Line

When buying land at first time in Kenya, you must carefully follow the correct channel in order to be proclaimed a legitimate owner of the land. Always do your proper diligence to avoid losing the hard-earned cash with the cons. Yes, make sure the title deed is verified with the registrar of land and that all transactions are handled by a lawyer. Under Kenyan law, the person whose name appears on the title deed is considered the true owner of the property. Avoid being conned when buying property. If you have difficulty in buying land in Kenya, you can keep in touch with us.


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