Simple guide to 3 Types of Title Deeds In Kenya and How to Obtain Them

A title is a very important and legal document that proofs ownership of a home and of land. It should be the first thing to ask for when buying a property.

Title deeds in Kenya are issued by Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development at the Ministry’ regional registries offices. See the four types of tittle deeds in Kenya

1.Certificate of Lease

A certificate of lease is the ownership document for leasehold property. This Title deed is also known as Leasehold Titles. Leasehold land is one where ownership of the land is subjected to a definite period (maximum being 99 years).

The lessee (occupant) holds rights to land for a specific period subject to conditions imposed on land rights by the lessor (landowner). The period can be 33, 50, 66, or 99 years for all urban plots. All plots in Nairobi County fall under this Lease Hold Titles. See general points relating to Lease Certificate

2.Absolute title deed

This type of Title deed is also known as Freehold Title. A Freehold title is where the landowner has the maximum rights to the land without any time period or any other restrictions. Once you have this type of Title Deed, the land is yours and has no conditions on ownership.

In general, a title deed is white in color and with a seal and signature. It is a booklet with four pages.

  1. First page – This is what you see when you hold it. It has the title number, estimate size of the land, map sheet number, name of the owner and National ID number. In brief it also shares an explanation on the type of land, has a seal and date of issue.
  2. Second Page – At the top is has 2 sections A and B described as, property and proprietorship. This provides further details such as parcel number details of the owner, a signature and stamp.
  3. Third Page –   This section provides in-depth details on the history and records of the land. It is called encumbrances section. This is where any court cases, loans, mortgage, dispute or any other special detail about the land is made for references.
  4. Fourth Page – This is more of the back cover; it is almost similar to the first page in terms of the details.  It records the Title Deed number and the document code at the bottom.

3.Sectional Tittle deed 

A sectional Title deed is issued to prove ownership for a unit within a building for example when you buy a house in an apartment or a flat. Read more here about the Sectional Properties Act, 2020


What is an allotment letter?

An allotment Letter is a formal document issued by a government authority or a landowner to confirm the allocation of a piece of land to a person or a company. A land letter of allotment usually include important details about the property including its location, size and plot number.

Is an allotment letter proof of ownwership?

What is the difference between title deed and allotment letter in Kenya?

The Title Deed is proof of ownership, while Share Certificates and Allotment Letters are not.

Supreme Court: Allotment Letter is not a Title Deed

How many types of title deeds are there?

There are three main types of title deeds commonly used in Kenya: Freehold Title Deed. Leasehold Title Deed. Sectional Title Deed.

What is absolute title deed in Kenya?

This type of Title deed is also known as Freehold Title. A Freehold title is where the landowner has the maximum rights to the land without any time period or any other restrictions.

What is the difference between a lease and a title deed?

What Is A Lease?

A lease is a legal agreement granting a tenant the right to use a piece of land for a specific period in exchange for rent payment. The lessor, also known as the landlord, imposes certain restrictions or conditions on the lessee, determining how the land can be utilised.

What Is A Cavet?

A caveat serves as a warning or precaution, providing important information or qualifications. When a caveat is lodged on a property, it notifies anyone interested in dealing with the property of another party’s interest in the property.

How to differentiate a fake and a genuine title deed.

The most effective way to identify a genuine title deed from a fake one is by doing a title deed search . You can either do a manual or online search.

  1. Create an account on the e-Citizen platform.
  2. Visit the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning section
  3. Choose land search option
  4. Insert the title number of the property under search
  5. Complete the online land search form and submit
  6. Make payment of Ksh 550 either through Mpesa or card and print the results.

The results of the title deed search will help you ascertain whether the title deed you were searching for is genuine or fake.

Can a title deed have two names?

Yes, you can own a parcel of land jointly and therefore two or three names can appear on a title deed.

Procedure for transferring a title deed in Kenya:

  1. Apply for a search on the title deed,
  2. The seller then needs to apply, pay, and obtain a rates clearance certificate from the county office in which the land is located.
  3. The seller then needs to apply for and obtain the consent to transfer the land.
  4. Valuation of the land by a government valuer to ascertain the amount to be paid as stamp duty.
  5. Paying the stamp duty and obtain a receipt as proof.
  6. The final step of the transfer is to lodge stamped transfer documents for registration at the local land office.

Documents needed to transfer a title deed in Kenya.

  1. A copy of the valuation report
  2. Consent to transfer from the Land Control Board.
  3. Stamp duty assessment form and payment proof
  4. Rent clearance certificate
  5. Copies of ID and KRA PIN certificates of buyer and seller.
  6. 2 copies of colored passport size photos for each party.
  7. The Original Copy of Title Deed

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