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Joy as Kenyan apartment owners are issued with title deeds

Owners of residential flats within
multi-storeyed buildings have a reason to smile after the government started
issuing ownership documents for such properties,
guaranteeing ownership
unlocking a
huge potential in one of Kenya’s sector with vast opportunities.

The sectional properties amendment bill,2020
which was approved and signed by President Uhuru Kenyatta allow
s apartment buyers to acquire their own title
In the past, apartment owners had no title
deed as the developers retained the original title even after selling the
This is because there was no legal mechanism to sub-divide such properties.

Common property within developments
will be
be owned by proprietors of the
units as tenants in common.
Some common properties include playgrounds and other
shared facilities.

Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney estimates 10,000 sectional title deeds will be issued out in Nairobi as part of a pilot phase that
kicked off last month.
 “We have started with structured buildings like the NSSF-owned
properties in Nyayo Embakasi. We want to start with the apartments that are
easy to do to see how it plays out in the system. So far, we have had 10
successful transactions,” she told the Nation.

Before December 2021, you couldn’t transact
on your sectional units because
they were not available on Ardhisasa. Now those customers will be able to register
on Ardhisasa
, search
sectional properties on Arhisasa
 and also do charges and discharges  for sectional properties according to Ms Karoney.

The law will
have a major impact on the real estate sector as

Unlock real estate potential: Officials estimate that there are about
100,000 sectional property units in Nairobi alone. The government intends to
have all the sectional units on the platform and that will increase the number
of transactable properties in the Nairobi registry. It will also promote
affordable housing as apartment buyers will be assured of ownership.

Financial sector The
issuance of titles through sectional properties will
allow individual apartment owners to acquire
title deeds for their units and be able to use them as collateral in acquiring loans
and for
other financial transactions.

Lower Fraud– In the past, buying an apartment was always a risk. Buyers were exposed to risk of fraud. Buyers can search for
ownership details the same way it’s done for land transactions.
There were instances of developers building houses on land whose original title is held
by money lending institutions.
This always brought problems in case the developer
defaults on the loan.

Related: Key
Steps to follow when buying land in Kenya

More government revenue- Sectional properties implementation will
bring more
on board
increasing the number of transactions. Real estate transactions bring
revenue to the government, both at national and local level.

Understanding real estate taxes in Kenya

If you
are part of a development that is affected, note that t
he process of conversion may be commenced by
the developers,
a management company or an
individual unit owner. If the developer is unwilling to surrender the mother
title for purposes of the conversion, the registrar may register a restriction
against the title to prevent any further dealings on it.

The law provides review and transition of
to be done within a period of two
years from the date of commencement of the new law.

For more details, contact Wanjohi Wawuda
Advocates on 0726982982 on email at

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