Types of Title Deeds In Kenya and How to Obtain Them

Types of Title Deeds In Kenya and How to Obtain Them

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

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.

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

4.       Certificate of tittle

A title issued due to subdivision without change of user, it
is under Registered Lands Act Cap 21.

Step by step on how
to acquire a title deed

Step 1: Obtain
Official land search

This stage is very important as it shows if someone else
owns the land or if the land has been registered before.

Apply In-Person:

This is done at the ministry of lands and physical planning
headquarters or in any of their Land Offices in local district/ Sub County. One
is required to pay a fee of Ksh 500 for the search; submit a duly filled search
application (form RL 26) and attach the copy title document. The land search at
Lands office takes an average of 3 days.

After the search one is issued with a stamped Certificate of
Official search (form RL 27) showing the status of the land.

Required documents

Duly filled Application for Official search
(Form RL 26) Form RL 26

Proof of land ownership

PIN certificate (copy)

Identity card (copy) for the applicant if

Foreign national registration certificate- alien
card (copy) For foreigners who are residents in Kenya

Passport (copy) for the applicant if a

Apply On-line

How to apply for a tittle deed online.

Log onto the e-citizen portal E-Citizen and sign

Click on Ministry of Land, Housing & Urban
Development link and choose the land search option

Enter the title number and fill the online land
search form Kenya and submit

Confirm the details and proceed to pay using the
available payment method which can be a debit card, credit card, M-Pesa, or
bank transfers. One is required to pay a fee of Ksh 500 for the search

Once the payment is confirmed, the applicant can
proceed to print the results, and if you choose not to, the information will
always be available on the portal anytime you log in.

Step 2.Obtain land
transfer documents

This step involves contacting a lawyer to facilitate
obtaining and not arising the land transfer documents. The steps are as follows

Apply, pay and obtain rates clearance certificate
from the County Government- This is done by the seller’s lawyer through
consulting the local county government lands office. The whole process can take
five days at the cost of Ksh. 10,000. This certificate proves that there are no
outstanding fees to be paid at the City County’s office. Lawyer’s fees are calculated
according to the value of the land. Upon payment of all outstanding Land Rates
at the Local County Governments and upon an application and payment of the
prescribed fees. The respective County Governments shall issue a Land Rates
clearance certificate.

Apply and Obtain Land Rent Clearance Certificate
from the Commissioner of Lands – Upon payment of outstanding Land rent and on
application, the commissioner of lands issues a Land rent clearance
certificate. This certificate is proof that there are no outstanding fees to be
paid to the County Government

Apply and Obtain Consent to transfer from
commissioner of Lands- The consent to transfer leasehold land held by the
government under the repealed Act is required to be obtained from the National
Land Commission. Upon payment and issuance of Both Land rent certificate and
Land rate certificate, an application is made in writing by the lawyer to the
commissioner of lands and the prescribed form executed for consent to transfer
the desired property. Upon payment of the prescribed amount, consent to
transfer is issued. This process takes nine days at the cost of Ksh. 1,000.


File the transfer instrument at the Lands Office
for assessment of stamp duty payable on the transfer-  The draft transfer is done by the buyer’s
lawyer and the transfer instrument has to be approved by the seller’s
counterpart before it’s filled at the land’s office to be assessed for Stamp
Duty. After the lawyers approval the instrument is submitted for assessment of
stamp duty at the Lands registry .The stamp duty is 4% of property value for
urban lands and 2% for rural lands. The stamp duty amount to be paid is
indicated when the application is filed, but it takes approximately 7 days to
obtain the receipt of payment (obligated to pay with a banker’s check) from the
bank. The payment is made directly at the Lands Office.

Step 3.Obtain
valuation for stamp duty

Receive inspection by land officer- 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. There are no prior appointments made and the actual inspection may
happen within one day or, in the worst case, one month. However, note that this
time is not limited and in some cases entrepreneurs may wait months for a
valuation. Once the evaluator has inspected the property, a report is compiled
which the value is endorsed on the transfer.

Obtain valuation of the property by Government
evaluator- The inspector visits the site to evaluate and verify the indicated
purchase price of the property in order to ensure accurate tax payment. If the
assessed value differs from the one indicated by the parties, an additional
payment is requested.

Safely Buy Land in Kenya in 5 Easy Steps

Step 4.Stamp duty

Endorsement of value for Stamp Duty and
assessment of Stamp Duty- Complete the Stamp Duty from including the purchase
price. The stamp duty assessment officer will then assess the stamp duty
payable and indicate the amount on the forms. This takes three days.

Payment of Stamp Duty- It is mandatory to pay
the stamp duty with a banker’s check. The payment is made through commercial
banks and the approved banks include the Kenya Commercial Bank and The National
Bank of Kenya. Payment is made to the Commissioner of Domestic Taxes on behalf
of the Commissioner of Lands. It takes four days for the Kenya Revenue
Authority to confirm receipt of payment. This Stamp Duty is payable online via
the KRA Itax portal

Submission of the documents for franking/
obtaining franked documents- After payment of stamp duty, the transfer
documents are submitted for franking to confirm that any charges or taxes, such
as the stamp duty on those documents have been paid.

Step 5.Land

Pay registration fees- A payment of Ksh 500
charged and one issued with a booking form to fill.

Lodge the completion documents with Lands Office
for registration of the transfer- The franked transfer documents are lodged for
registration at the Lands Office. The seller’s lawyer obtains these documents
which include; original certificate of Title, Rates Clearance Certificate, Land
Rent Clearance Certificate and the consent transfer. This process takes 12

Duly filled booking form

Consent to transfer land (copy)

Official land search (original)

Land rates clearance receipt (copy)

Land rent certificate (copy)

Transfer instrument (3 original + copy)

Identity card (copy)

viii.  PIN
certificate (copy)

This process takes two weeks and Ksh. 5,000 is charged to
obtain process a new title deed certificate.

After a successful registration you will receive the
following document

An original title deed with the name of the

Registered transfer forms

The pay in slip of stamp duty

Post purchase activity

After a week or two, you as the buyer should do another
search with the ministry of Lands to confirm that the land is now under your

Required Documents

Duly filled Application for Official search Form
RL 26

Proof of land ownership

PIN certificate (copy)

Identity card (copy) for the applicant if

Foreign national registration certificate- alien
card (copy) For foreigners who are residents in Kenya

Passport (copy) for the applicant if a

Duly filled booking form

viii.  Consent
to transfer land (copy)

Official land search (original)

Land rates clearance receipt (copy)

Land rent certificate (copy)

Transfer instrument (3 original + copy)


For more details visit the ministry of lands and physical
planning, ardhi house 1ST Ngong Avenue , Nairobi or isit their website :

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