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Can a foreigner own property in Kenya?

Posted by on August 22, 2020

According to the Kenyan constitution, a person is considered a citizen of Kenya either by birth, descent, or registration. As a citizen, you qualify to own property anywhere in Kenya however, can a non – citizen invest in real estate?

The short answer to this is yes. The Kenyan law allows non-citizens to invest in property with the same legal rights and protections as Kenyan citizens, however, this ownership has certain restrictions attached to in the terms. The 2010 Kenyan constitution put this into motion and Article 65 (1) and (2) of the constitution titled Landholding by non-citizens provides for this clearly stating the aforementioned restrictions. It states:

65 (1) A person who is not a citizen may hold land on the basis of leasehold tenure only, and any such lease, however granted, shall not exceed ninety-nine years.

65 (2) If a provision of any agreement, deed, conveyance or document of whatever nature purports to confer on a person who is not a citizen an interest in land greater than a ninety-nine year lease, the provision shall be regarded as conferring on the person a ninety-nine year leasehold interest, and no more.

What does this mean?

This means that a non-citizen can own both freehold and leasehold land however, the title deed on the land is presumed to be on a leasehold of 99 years, that can be extended or renewed upon expiry. It is important to note that after the expiry of a leasehold title, the current owner of the property will be given top priority for allocation of the land so there is little to worry about acquiring a lease renewal.

For foreigners who own companies in Kenya and would like to acquire property while using the company as an entity; the company should have all Kenyan shareholders. In cases that the shares are being held in trust, the trust beneficiaries should be Kenyan citizens. A non- citizen can also buy land in agricultural areas such as Nanyuki through owning shares in a public company that owns agricultural land.

It is always advisable for non-citizens to engage with a professional Real estate company that has vast knowledge in property investment and its legalities such as The Wealthsmith Company. Contact us today for more on investing in property in Kenya as a foreigner.

One thought on “Can a foreigner own property in Kenya?

  • on May 5, 2022

    We’re a gaggle of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with valuable information to work on. You have performed a formidable job and our entire neighborhood will probably be thankful to you.

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