What you need to know about Title Deeds
When buying land in Kenya, your ownership is not automatically determined by your full payment for the land. Paying for the property in full is part of the process, however, to become a legal owner of the land, you need a special document known as a Title Deed.
What exactly is the Title Deed?
Most of us have heard of these two words and know that it is a very crucial document. A Title Deed is a legal document that shows evidence of ownership of land or property. The Ministry of Lands in Kenya issues land Title Deeds through the Deeds Registry. The land Title Deed also shows the type of tenure and length of term the land is under for example to identify whether it is freehold or leasehold. The next part will define these two terms.
Types of Title Deeds in Kenya
We have three types of Title Deeds in Kenya as per the different land acts in the country, these include:
- Certificate of lease. This Title Deed is under the Registered Lands Act Cap
300 (repealed) and it belongs to leasehold land. Leasehold land is one where ownership of the land is subjected to a definite period and any other conditions executed on land rights by the lessor to the lessee. An example is: one can have a 33, 50, 66-year lease or the maximum 99-year government lease for urban plots in Kenya. After the stated lease years, the land ownership and all development done on the property reverses back to the government.
Absolute Title Deed. This is under the Registered Lands Act Cap 300 (repealed) and it belongs to freehold land. This is the type of Title Deed issued by The Wealthsmith Ltd. Freehold land is one where ownership of land is one that 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.
- Sectional Title Deed. This is given to prove ownership for a unit within a building for example a flat or an apartment.
Features of a Title Deed
You need to know how this legal document appears to avoid being conned or scammed. Here are basic features you can cross- check to ensure your document is valid:
- A Title Deed Document has four pages.
- The first page is what we commonly see. This page has the title number, approximate area, registry map sheet number, name of the owner, and ID number with a description on the type of land tenure, a seal from the land registry, and the date issued.
- The second page has Part A titled as the Property Section and Part B titled as the Proprietorship section. The Property section includes segments that describe the property further while the Proprietorship section has details of the owner.
- The third page has Part C titled as Encumbrances section. This will list any court cases, loans, mortgage, or any other dispute associated with the property.
- The last page is more like a back cover almost similar to the first page minus the description and also has the Title Deed number and document code at the bottom.
You can always do an online land search by simply logging onto the e-citizen portal or sign up in case you don’t have an account. The next step is to 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. You can also visit our website and discover amazing deals for plots.
Contact us for more details on Title Deeds and how you can own land in Kenya.