Ultimate step by step guide to land subdivision in Kenya: Guide to doing subdivisions like a pro

Ultimate step by step guide to land subdivision in Kenya: Guide to doing subdivisions like a pro

Sub-division is the process of dividing one parcel of
land into two or more parts.
As a real estate agent, you may want
to do this in case you want to sell a piece of land after splitting it into
smaller pieces. Subdivision may be occasioned by need to share a property among
several people, convey a gift of part of a property, sell, develop part of a
piece of land or for collateral purposes.

Subdivision is the opposite of amalgamation.
Amalgamation is combining two or more pieces of land that are under separate
titles into one piece of land with only one title. In case you missed it, you
can read more about the procedure
for amalgamation of plots in Kenya

The process of subdivision is fairly simple as.

Step1: Preparation of a
sub-division scheme


Before you begin the process, visit your local land
registry and conduct a 
search to verify ownership or if any caveat has been placed on the
. You can do this yourself or
have a surveyor do this for you. Land searches usually take around 3 days.
For properties within Nairobi, please create
an account on Ardhisasa
 and follow
this guide on how
to conduct an online land search through Ardhisasa
The Institute of Kenya
a list of all registered surveyors in Kenya. Hiring a surveyor is advisable
and they will
also help you to identify the exact boundaries of the property and will also advise you on the best way to do land

After the official search, the surveyor will help you obtain a
registry index map (RIM) from the
Institute of Surveyors
of Kenya. The RIM is a map that covers a large geographic area in which
the land to be subdivided lies.
Using the
map, the surveyor visits the land
to ascertain the measurements
indicated on the maps are the exact measurements on the ground.

Once measurements are confirmed, the surveyor
then prepares a Subdivision Scheme, which must be signed by a Registered
Physical Planner who then gives a Physical Planning Act form commonly known as
PPA 1 Form. The physical planner must have
valid license from the Physical Planners’ Registration Board.

The easiest thing is to
hire a surveyor or a physical planner to handle the full process. Discuss with
the physical planner or surveyor on the objectives intend to achieve and
formalize the relationship by agreeing on fees and timelines through a signed

Step 2: Submission to the County Government.

The subdivision scheme is
then presented to the county government. The county government circulates the
scheme to various County departments and Government Agencies for evaluation.
Evaluation is done for items like zoning compliance, roads alignment, water
reserves and other environmental considerations. Also, the committees will
review social amenities provided e.g. schools, plot size, road size, drainage,
sewer reticulation and assess sufficiency of these.

The accompanying documents
to be given to the county government include:

Requirements for land Subdivision of land in Kenya:

Certificate of official Search.

Ownership documents/ Title deed of the land

Registry Index Map (RIM)/ Survey Map

Copy of payment receipt for application of subdivision and land rates /Rates
Clearance certificate
. In Nairobi, remember you can
for land rent using Ardhisasa

Copy of the physical planners practising certificate

Land Control Board consent to sub-divide the land

Duly filled Form PPA1

Well-drawn scheme showing the proposed subdivision.

Four copies of sub-division scheme plan signed by the
physical planner
the developer
if applicable).

The county government may
make requests for pieces of land to be set as public utilities for the approval
to be done. Such public utilities include playgrounds or police stations. If any
modifications to the subdivision requests are made, the Physical
Planner and Land Surveyor will then go back to
the drawing board and amend the subdivision plan to conform to the
county government

If the county government
is satisfied with the subdivision report a PP2 Form is issued approving the
subdivision of land as per the surveyed plots. The county government may also
approve and provide other conditions that should be put in place before the
Ministry of Lands issues individual titles to the divided land.

Once all the conditions
for subdivision as stated in the subdivision approval letter are met, the
council inspects and issues a letter allowing the Ministry of Lands to issue
all the remaining titles. If fulfilment of some conditions is capital
intensive, the county government can offer phased approvals.

Step 3: Submission to the Land
Control Board.

After issuance of PP2 forms,
then a booking of a meeting by the lands Control Board can be set. The registered
surveyor or planner will present the Subdivision scheme details, a current Title
Search (valid for three months after date of issue), the PPA1 and the PPA2 to
the Land Control Board for review and approval. The land control board is a
meeting of local elders who sit at the sub-county level and approves all land
transfers in their area. A meeting with the land control board must be booked
at least
two weeks in advance
, and the board sits only once a month.
The landowner is required to present themselves in front
to the board with their spouse as applicable.

After getting the land control board consent, the
surveyor places beacons to mark the boundaries.
In rural areas, general
boundaries are common where
an error margin of one metre is allowed in the placement of
beacons. In urban
cadastral (fixed) land boundaries, whose beacon positioning is measured in

Once the boundaries are marked, both the land owner
and the surveyor are required to sign copies of the Mutation
. The mutation forms, together with the search document, the consent
form from the Land Control Board, the PPA1 and the PPA2 forms are then forms
are then deposited with the district survey office, where a cartographer
allocates new plot numbers to the subdivided plots.

 Step 4: Submission to the National
government/Ministry of Lands.

The same documents presented to the county
government together with the approvals
are then deposited with the Institute of Surveyors of Kenya to allow for the amendment of the Registry Index Maps.

The same documents that were deposited  with the district survey office  are then taken to the respective land county registries to allow
the land registrar
in the processing
individual land title deeds

After a given period you then
visit the county registries for the individual title deeds. once you have title deeds and intend to sell some of the plots/land, register with us by creating an account for free and start selling.

Land subdivision cost in Kenya.

There are various costs throughout the land
subdivision process. The fee for the whole process varies and is charged
depending on the land itself both the size and location.

Properties that cannot be subdivided

Not every piece of land can be subdivided.  Exemptions include;

A property that is collateral for a loan in a
financial institution.

A property with a caveat on it to prevent any action
on the property.

Property with a court case that is still pending and
not yet resolved

payment for subdivided land

If there is no change in ownership,
then no taxation is done. However, if the plots are in the name of a different
entity then you will need to pay
capital gains tax
.  If paying for stamp duty on Ardhisasa, you
can use this guide on how
to pay stamp duty on Ardhisasa

I hope the above covers general questions
you may have.
While choosing a surveyor,
it is advisable to go
for a professional
good reputation and experience. If
you require a qualified land surveyor
, you can reach out to Steddy Trading Real Estate on
0722244971 or
write to us on

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comment below to add knowledge to the process.

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