Kenya Real Estate: Buying/Selling Laws and Procedures

A process that should be straightforward as it is guided by comprehensive property and land laws, buying and selling real estate in Kenya is far from straightforward, however. Instead, buyers have to deal with slow documentation processes that are marred by corruption, where buyers either have to know the right people or have to offer bribes to quicken the processes.

All hope is not lost, with extensive implementation of new reforms such as the new land reforms, buying and selling property in Kenya will improve and existing laws will be applied to the letter.

To ensure you abide to Kenyan laws guiding real estate transactions and to avoid pitfalls such as being fleeced, it is advisable you seek legal representation when buying/selling property in the country.

Land Registration

In Kenya, land is registered under:

  • The Land Act
  • National Land Commission Land
  • Land Registration Act; offering registration in all districts

Land Control Act

  • Formulated under the Land Control Act, land control boards are forbidden by law to award assent to transfer agricultural land to companies and people who are not eligible to hold it.

Foreign & local investment of real estate in Kenya: the process

Under the new Constitution, non-citizens and companies with shareholders who are non-citizens are barred from owning property on freehold tenure. The law allows them to own property on lease for a period that does not exceed 99yrs.

  • Both local and foreign property investors are allowed by law to purchase residential and commercial real estate situated in towns and within municipalities without any restrictions so long as they adhere to the legal procedures put in place.
  • However, foreigners and private companies with shareholders who are non-citizens of Kenya are barred by law to buy agricultural land except where such purchase is exempted by provisions of Land Control Act, SEC 24.

Property identification

Once an investor has searched for and identified a suitable property, he or she should strive to visit and assess the real estate to ensure that:

  • It actually exists
  • It meets your needs and expectations such as physical location and access to infrastructure
  • Its conditions are favorable and worth in investment

Note: there is a viewing fee applied when visiting properties for sale. Fees vary by type and size.

Conducting requisite search

A lawyer or the buyer must then obtain copies of the National Identity Card and property title from the seller and carry out requisite searches at lands office and Registration of Persons Bureau.

  • This step is very important to verify that the said owner is truly the titleholder of the property.
  • To carry out the search, you are required by law to file a copy of the title deed and a search application form and lodge it at the registry.
  • The charges for requisite search are Ksh500.
  • Land registry obtains the results within 2-3 days.

Results from the search should show

  • The registered title holder of the property
  • Property size
  • Any pending issues registered against the property such as court orders, caveats and prohibitions, etc.

Additionally, it is important to:

  • Verify whether the property is illegal or irregularly acquired as contained in Ndung’u Land Report filed by Commission of Inquiry on Illegal and Irregular Allocated Land.
  • Procure a registered surveyor to not only establish the beacons of the property but also check out the land at the Survey Office.

Negotiation and sale agreement

Satisfactory preliminary checks should be followed by negotiations about terms of sale between the buyer and seller with the presence of their respective legal team.

  • Negotiations entail discussions about the price of property and terms of payment
  • 10% of the total amount is paid upfront as down payment and the balance is paid when the sale transaction is complete
  • Agreement of terms by both parties set ground for preparation of a sale agreement by the seller’s advocate, who then seeks approval from the seller.

A sale agreement contains

  • Terms of sale
  • Purchase price
  • Terms of payment
  • Payment completion period
  • Completion documents that facilitate the property transfer
  • Law Society Conditions of Sale are often included

When both parties accept the sale agreement, they execute it with the buyer signing first followed by the seller. Finally money changes hands.

  • A stamp duty costing Ksh200 is then obtained from lands office as required by law to ensure that in case of a dispute, the signed documents are admissible to court.

Transfer of property ownership and stamp duty

Once the buyer’s advocate has prepared the transfer, both parties approve and sign.

  1. The seller is responsible for acquiring every requisite completion document needed to effect property registration to the buyer.
  2. The buyer is then liable for the stamp duty fees payable to the Kenya Revenue Authority in line with Chapter 480 in the Stamp Duty Act of laws of Kenya.
  3. Prior to determination of duty, the seller must apply for property valuation by lodging signed valuation for stamp duty form and transfer of property form to the Land Office.
  4. A stamp duty declaration, assessment and pay-in slip is then filled at Lands Office.

Once stamp duty is obtained and transfer process is complete, law requires that transfer documentations together with the following documents are booked for registration:

  • Original title deeds
  • Stamp duty declaration
  • Assessment and pay-in slip form
  • Land rates clearance certificates
  • Transfer consents
  • Valuation for stamp duty form

Property registration: the final stage of property transfer

When the buyer obtains the registered property transfer, the law advises verifying registration of the same by conducting a property search.

Permission to develop

In case the property owner intends to develop the purchased property, he or she is required to go to relevant local authority and get requisite development authorization.

Often, the owner will be requested to:

  • Commission an environmental impact assessment report to determine if the intended development has adverse environmental effects
  • Get an environmental license from environmental body-NEMA.

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What Kind of Web Content Is Best, Text or Multimedia?

When it comes to the content of your website, there’s a multitude of different kinds of content you can choose from. But which is best? Choosing the right web content can make or break your website. Here are some easy tips for helping you out.Text Web ContentThis is your written content, and can be located inside both images and in text blocks. The best textual website content is something that is expressly written for that page, rather than something simply copied and pasted from another source. This links back to the importance of fresh web page content for your website.Textual content will contain internal links in the HTML that will give readers more information. Not only that, but internal links will also keep their eyes on a focal point throughout the text. For instance, if your keyword was “dog food” you could link that to your associated dog food store.You should remember that text content can be read by anyone all over the world. Unless you are catering specifically to a local group alone, and can only offer services to one locality, remember that almost anyone could land on your site. Whether that’s a visitor from the Netherlands or from Jamaica, make sure your content can easily be read and understood by the majority of English speaking people.Multimedia Web ContentMore and more, we’re in an age of the video, the animation, and the graphic. People would rather stare a picture, it seems, than read a whole bunch of content. A short:50 video on a homepage encourages the visitor to click play so they can watch instead of read.Sound, animation, images, and video make up the majority of multimedia content. The best animations for your website are those in moderation. You don’t want your homepage filled up with too many cluttered moving graphics. Images should be optimized for web so that they can be downloaded fast by your visitor. Sound should be available to be controlled by the viewer, as it can get annoying otherwise.What’s The Best?Text website content and multimedia content certainly each offer great options. Text content is especially good, however, for building SEO keywords directly inside the text. You can’t do that with multimedia web content; but multimedia is great for instant gratification of your visitors.In the long run, it’s best to have both on your website. Include colorful pictures, graphics…but also a lot of text. In the very long run, your text web content will be the backbone of your presence in the search engines, and can rank you high according to the search term you can optimize in your text web content.

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Benefits of Using Time Attendance Systems to Reward Labour

Time attendance systems are widely in use across the global economy. The usage of time attendance systems has gained momentum owing to the benefits accruing to business enterprises from the time rate system of making wage payments to labour. In specific verticals like real estate, construction, security and surveillance and others, it is a usual practice to make wage payments to labour based on the fulfilment of time engagements mentioned in the job contract. According to the time system wage payments are made on a weekly or monthly basis depending on the total number of hours devoted to the job. There are some questions with regard to the benefits of using time rate systems and correspondingly attendance systems. What are the benefits of using the time rate system? What are the benefits of using an attendance system? These questions need to be answered from the perspectives of economic and technical efficiencies. Take a look.Economic and Technical Benefits of Using the Time Rate SystemThe time rate system was originally developed and popularized by the expansion of British business enterprises. It is the most widely used system of making wage payments in Great Britain. Speaking of verticals, the time rate system is widely used in labour intensive verticals involving programmable functions that need to be performed on big scale and involve manning a function. Benefits of using the time system are as follows:
Time system is easy to comprehend and calculate.
Time rate system is beneficial to business enterprises that use high cost inputs to produce high quality outputs.
Time rate system has a very positive psychological impact on workers and creates a sense of job security.
System offers equality of wage payments for equal time devoted to labour. Hence it is preferred by trade unions in wage negotiations.
Time system is highly useful in situations involving exigencies at service delivery centres like hospitals, factories, call centres, etc.

Economic and Technical Benefits of Using Time Attendance SystemsAttendance systems form the core of time rate systems. In order to make wage payments to labour based on time engagements, it is absolutely necessary to adopt a streamlined and automated approach to assessing time engagements of all workers without any discrimination. The economic and technical benefits of using time systems are as follows:
Time attendance systems do not require any manual intervention from the side the management of the company. Records obtained systems cannot be disputed by trade unions and workers on grounds of discrimination, bias or partiality.
Time systems archive patterns of time engagements of all workers without threats of theft, destruction or fabrication of data. Data stored in the memory of attendance systems can be used by the management of a company to derive valuable insights on punctuality of workers. If need be, workers can be counselled.
Team leaders and supervisors can focus on the quality of work produced by the workers instead of being bothered by the necessity to manually monitor entry and exit of workers at the work place.
Lastly, time attendance systems are affordable and hardly require any break down and preventive maintenance.

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