Property Registration

Obtain Land Rent Clearance Certificate

Agency: Lands Office (through ecitizen.go.ke)

The seller’s lawyer obtains the Land Rent Clearance Certificate from the lands office. It is possible to pay for any outstanding taxes and receive the clearance certificate through the e-Citizen online platform. Once the applicant paid all the taxes, the system will generate the Land Rent Clearance Certificate digitally.

Time and cost: 7 days, no charge

Obtain Rates Clearance Certificate from the Nairobi City Council

Agency: Nairobi City County Government

The seller’s lawyer obtains the Rates Clearance Certificate from the Nairobi City County Government. This certificate is important proof that there are no outstanding fees to be paid to the Nairobi City County Government.

Time and cost: 5 days, KES 10,000

Draft the transfer instrument and file it at the Lands Office to obtain an appointment for valuation

Agency: Lawyer’s office

The transfer instrument is prepared by the buyer’s lawyer and needs to be approved by the seller’s counterpart. Lawyers’ fees are calculated based on a fixed scale published under the Advocates (Remuneration) Order depending on the value of the property. Lawyers are also permitted to charge on alternative billing methods subject to the minimum fees set out under the scaled provided for under the Advocates (Remuneration) Order.

The transfer instrument is filed at the Land office to be assessed for Stamp duty.

Time and cost: 4 days, KES 154,178.54

According to the Advocates Remuneration Order for 2014 the lawyer’s fee is calculated cumulatively, based on the property’s value:

  • From Kshs 1 to Kshs 5,000,000, 2% of the consideration or the value of the subject matter or Kshs 35,000 whichever is higher
  • From Kshs 5,000,001 to Kshs100,000,000, the fee prescribed in (i) plus 1.5% of the balance
  • From Kshs 100,000,001 to Kshs 250,000,000, the fee prescribed in (ii) plus 1.25 % of the balance
  • From Kshs 250,000,001 to Kshs 1,000,000,000, the fee prescribed in (iii) plus 1% of the balance
  • In respect of an amount where the consideration or value is more than Kshs 1,000,000,000, the fee set out in (iv) plus 0.1% of the balance

Obtain an official search on the title at the Lands Office

Agency: Lands Office

Lawyers obtain an official title search.

For titles previously registered under the Registered Land Act (Cap. 300), it is possible to obtain the official search through the E-Citizen platform.

For titles issued under the Registration of Titles Act (Cap. 281) or the Government Lands Act (Cap. 280), an official search is obtained at the Lands Registry.

Time and cost: 3 days, KES 500 (KES 500 Nairobi Registry; KES 520 Nairobi Central Registry; KES 550 Online (E-Citizen) (KES 50 is the convenience fee for the E-Citizen portal))

Obtain consent to transfer from the Lands Office

Agency: Lands Office (through ecitizen.go.ke)

When the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 was promulgated, the Land Registration Act (No. 3 of 2012) repealed the Government Lands Act (Cap. 280). Under the Act, for leasehold lands held by the government, the consent to transfer is required to be obtained from the lands office.

The consent to transfer is requested through the E-Citizen portal. Once the applicant receives the notification from the lands office, they need to pick up the consent at the lands office.

Time and cost: 5 days, KES 1,050

Receive site inspection by a government valuer and obtain a valuation report

Agency: Lands Office Valuer

Once the draft transfer has been filed at the land office, an inspector visits the site to verify the development and state of the property. Due to lack of transport, in practice, the inspector often has to be picked up in person and driven to the site. Previously, such inspections were conducted on a random basis, but now every transaction requires such an inspection. Once the valuer has inspected the property to assess its value, a report is compiled after which the value is endorsed on the transfer and then it is submitted for assessment of the Stamp duty.

Time and cost: 20 days, no charge

Endorsement of value for stamp duty purposes and assessment of the stamp duty

Agency: Lands Office

The stamp duty assessment form is completed including the purchase price (in quadruplet). The stamp duty assessment officer stationed at the Ministry of Lands banking hall will then assess the stamp duty payable and indicate the amount on the forms. Stamping of the document takes on average 3 days.

Time and cost: 4 days, no charge

Generate a payment slip of the stamp duty

Agency: Kenya Revenue Authority

Once the stamp duty has been assessed, the buyer generates a payment slip via the iTax portal. The iTax portal is used for generating slips for the payment to Kenya Revenue Authority. Once the payment slip has been generated, the payment can be made at commercial banks.

Time and cost: Less than one day (online), no charge

Payment of the stamp duty at Commercial Bank and receive confirmation of payment from the Kenya Revenue Authority

Agency: Commercial Bank

The payment of Stamp Duty is made at commercial banks designated by the Ministry of Land. If the amount exceeds KSE 1 million, payment is made by RTGS bank transfer. It takes about 2 days for the Kenya Revenue Authority to confirm receipt of payment after which the transfer agreement can be franked or embossed evidencing payment of stamp duty.

Time and cost: 2 days, KES 344,586.15 (KES 110 (charge for Banker’s check) + 4% of property value (stamp Duty))

Lodge stamped transfer document for registration and receive duly registered documents

Agency: Lands Office

The stamped transfer documents are lodged for registration at the lands office. These documents are generally obtained from seller’s lawyers. The documents include the original Certificate of Title, Rates Clearance Certificate, Land Rent Clearance Certificate, and the Consent to Transfer. The balance of the purchase price is also paid. The certificate of the registered transfer is collected at the Lands Office.

Time and cost: 5 days, KES 500