If you are buying land from an individual or a group, follow the following steps:
1. Ask to see the title deed or copy of title deed. Then do an official search at the ministry of lands to confirm who the real owners are or if the title has any Caveat on it. The search will cost you Kshs 520.
2. Do a search with the local authorities to check of any unpaid land rates. If any, agree with the seller on who will settle the debt. Note that land cannot be transferred if there are unpaid land rates.
3. Go to the ministry of lands and buy 2 maps, one showing the exact measurements of the piece of land that are buying (called mutation) and the other showing the neighbouring lands. Each costs Ksh 350.
4. With your 2 maps and a surveyor (you can even do it yourself although it’s not recommended), visit the site of the land you are buying and verify the details on the map. Check out all the beacons.
5. Sit down with your seller and negotiate the price. Write down a buyer-seller agreement. The agreement can be done before a lawyer or you may decide to do it yourself(again not recommended). However it’s not a requirement that the agreement doesn’t must be written by a lawyer. If you choose to have a lawyer the Law Siciety of Kenya(LSK) offers clear guideline: if the value of the land is below 1 million Kenya Shillings, you pay the lawyer Ksh 3,000. If the value is above 1million, you pay the lawyer 8,000 Kenya Shillings for the agreement.
If it’s family property our spouse SHOULD BE present! Not just present but a co-owner. It’s very important. Ask me why your spouse needs to be included; In case case of your death, the process of transferring ownership will not involve an overly lengthy process, Moreover, leaving your spouse to deal with the extended families involvement can be tricky on this side of civilization.
6. Pay a down-payment or follow the directions of your agreement. It’s not advisable to pay everything. Even when you have the money available.
7. Book a meeting with the lands control board(LCB). It holds its sitting once a month. This process will cost you Kshs 1,000. However, there is a special LCB meeting which you can book at Kshs 5,000. LCB will issue consent for the land to be transferred.
8. Pay the remaining balance after getting consent from LCB.
9. With the consent from LCB, a recent search(not more than 6 months old), clearance form from county land rates office, your 2 maps, the agreement, KRA PIN, 2 Passports and copy of the title deed, go to the Ministry of Lands to change ownership. Cost of this process is Kshs 5,000.At this stage, you no longer need the seller’s participation.
10. You are now ready to go and pay stamp duty with is calculated according to the value of the land. stamp duty amount is 4% of the sale value.