September 20, 2022

STEPS IN DUE DILIGENCE, land buying in Kenya.

Land is part of God’s estate in the Globe, and when a parcel of land is deeded to you, and you walk over it and call it your own it seems you have come into partnership with the Original proprietor of the Earth.

Everyone wants a place they can call their own and stories surrounding land can be two things; heart wrenching or heartwarming. We found it useful to compile the process you expect to go through when purchasing land just to make sure your story will always be the latter, heartwarming.

After scouting for land in different locations, there should be one that suits your preference. It’s important to make a physical visit to where that land is sold so that you can be in a better position to make a wise decision.

So many people insist on seeing the land so that they can determine if the land has the following features;

  1. If that piece of land is near the tarmac, so many people prefer land that it is easily accessible from the main road.

Availability of access roads, these are pathways that lead to the land in question.

  • The type of soil, it is cotton soil or Murram soil. And if it is cotton soil, how many feet? Murram soil is suitable for construction purposes and knowing the type of soil is important so that you can budget on how to remove the cotton soil when you want to build a house.
  • Available utilities such as water and electricity.

The following are the steps in Due diligence,

Official search at the Registry.

After a site visit, it is important to do a search of the land. Official search is normally done at the registry near where the land is sold. Official search can also be done electronically if the land is in Nairobi or other digitally enabled registries.

The results of the search will contain the following information;

  1. The name of the Registered Owner of the land.
  2. Any encumbrances over the land such as charges, registered caveats, cautions or restrictions on the land.
  3. If the property is a government lease.

This information will enable the buyer of the land to ascertain whether or not the seller of the land is the actual owner of the land.

Historical search is also important, this is a type of search that shows the history of the land and all the transactions related to it from the very first historically recorded transaction. Historically searches are useful especially where there is a dispute as to ownership of the land.

Application for consent in the Land control board.

When selling land, the seller needs to apply for consent with the land control board. Land consent simply means that the seller has the permission to sell the land. The land control board usually meets once in a month.

However, there exists a Special land control Board, instead of waiting for the LCB that meets once in a month, the special board takes a day to hear the transacting parties.Gatongora ward at Mwalimu farm

Drafting a Sale Agreement.

When everything is fine so far and you as a buyer you are satisfied with the results, now it’s time to engage the Vendor for the Purposes of agreeing on the price and the terms of payment.

The Vendors advocate prepares the land Sale Agreement in the Presence of the Vendor for the Sake of his/her approval. The agreement indicates;

  1. The terms of Sale including the name of the parties.
  2. The purchase price and the mode of payment.
  3. The completion period (Usually not more than 90 days).
  4. The completion documents to be furnished by the vendor to enable the registration of the transfer of property in favour of the purchaser.

In the event whereby the balance of the purchase price is being financed by a bank, the same should be stated in the Sale Agreement.

Once the terms of the Sale Agreement have been agreed between the parties, the Agreement is executed by the parties .The purchaser should be the first to sign the sale agreement, it is then forwarded to the vendors advocates for the vendors execution accompanied by the evidence of payment of the same.


The buyer is required to apply for valuation of the land by a government valuer using the valuation form filled by the seller’s advocate. The valuer is expected to issue the valuation report in 3 days.

The land office will use the valuation documents to compute the Stamp Duty Payable. Stamp duty is usually computed as 4% of land value for urban areas and 2% for rural areas.

Stamp Duty Payment.

The land purchaser is usually responsible to cater for the costs of the Stamp duty on the transfer of the land. The simplest way to pay for the stamp duty is through the KRA portal, it is fast and efficient.

Preparation of the transfer and getting the completion documents.

The land transfer document should be sign by the two parties, the buyer and the vendor. It is the Vendors duty to obtain all the required completion documents, which are required for registration of the Property at his own costs.

The documents are;

  1. Original tittle of the property.
  2. The transfer of the property duly executed by the vendor.
  3. Identity card and Pin certificate.
  4. 3 passport sized photos of the vendor. If the seller is a company, photograph of two of its directors.
  5. Land rent clearance certificate.
  6. Rates clearance certificate for the property.
  7. Consent of transfer, issued by the Land control board.
  8. Valuation form.


Registration is the keeping of records of land transactions in the land registry. The transfer documents accompanied by the Original title deeds, land rent and rates clearance certificate, consent to transfer, the duly completed valuation report for stamp duty are booked for registration.

The purpose of registration includes;

  1. Enables the government to keep track of user and easier collection of revenue.
  2. Enables easy dealing in land transactions.

The whole process usually takes not more than 90 days to complete, after which the ownership of the land in question is considered to have legally changed hands.

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