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WHAT YOU MUST KNOW WHEN PURCHASING PROPERTY

Updated: Mar 21

First time buyers of property are usually very excited on the prospect of finally being in a position to purchase property. After all its everyone’s dream to own property in Kenya. However, if you are planning to buy a piece of land, apartment of house anywhere in Kenya, there are some pre-requisites which you need to adhere to so that the land you buy is legitimate and you don't end up losing your heard earned cash.

Please note

· In every land deal, It is highly recommended that you use a Lawyer. It may seem costly but it is better to be safe than sorry.

· NEVER CUT CORNERS.


STEP 1 : VISIT THE PROPERTY YOURSELF

Visualization is defined as form a mental image of; imagine; make (something) visible to the eye. Visualization presents an opportunity to inspect for flaws, most importantly the anticipation of owning the property is born.

Here are some pointers

· Identify the piece of land that you wish to purchase and ensure that the beacons of the land are clearly marked. Keep in mind that in ancestral land there may be no beacons. The beacons give a clearer vision of the shape and size of the land and its actual boundaries.

· If it is a house or a flat ensure that you personally inspect the interior and exterior of the house. Whist you may not be a professional valuer you shall be in a position to visualize.


STEP 2 : CONDUCT AN OFFICIAL SEARCH OF THE PROPERTY

Once you identify land it’s always recommended that you visit the at the District Lands Office or the Ministry of Lands (Ardhi House) so as to conduct a search of the parcel in question. You will need a copy of the land title deed from the seller to facilitate the search. This will normally take three days to get the results of the real owner of the land and if there is any caution put against the land.

While doing this keep in mind

· The process can also be conducted online. However, it is not yet fully automated i.e. Not all properties are available on line.

· The process can be conducted by your Lawyer.

· Alternatively, one could also use your Agent at a fee.

· The current official government charges in addition to the Lawyer or Agents fee is Kshs 500.

· The process takes 3 working days.


STEP 3 : CONDUCT A SEARCH OF PROPERTY AN COUNTY OFFICE

This helps one to establish the status of County Rates payments. In the event of unpaid Land Rates these ought to be factored in the Purchase Price.


STEP 4 : OBTAIN TWO LAND MAPS & GROUND VERIFICATION

This is indeed a step that mostly ignored especially when purchasing Land, since it is assumed that all the information is inclusive in the copy of the Title. It is no harm to do this as far as am concerned.

· These are obtained from Survey of Kenya at a cost of Kshs 300. One map is usually drawn to scale, and the other one is an overview of the lands adjacent to the one you want to buy.

· Once you have obtained the maps, it is advised to property with a Surveyor to verify the dimensions.


STEP 5 : PREPARATION OF OFFERS AND PRICE NEGOTIATION

Once you as the buyer are satisfied with the search results as aforementioned then they will okay Vendors (Sellers) Lawyers to prepare an offer. The advocate involved should prepare a letter of offer or intent showing the details of the seller and purchaser, the description of the property on offer, and the proposed purchase price and modes of payment.


STEP 6 : SALE AGREEMENT AND DEPOSIT PAYMENT

Once you all agree that’s the buyer and the seller there is need to ensure that the offer has both the terms and conditions included. It is normally drafted by the seller’s Lawyer and presented to the buyer’s advocate for approval. Upon the execution of the sales agreement, the agreed deposit is paid by the purchaser through their advocate to the seller’s advocate’s account. However, this is not cast in stone the deposit can be made to the Sellers Bank Account.


STEP 7 : PAYMENT OF LAND RATES

A few years ago, the City Council of Nairobi “clamped houses” that had failed to remit rates. Buyers should be aware of such property because the payment of rates on land is a legal obligation of landowners and the seller should clear any pending rates on the land before completing the transaction.


STEP 8 : TRANSFER DOCUMENTS AND CONSENT TO THE TRANSFER

The seller’s advocate prepares transfer documents that will be executed by both the buyer and the seller. The transfer documents will only be executed after consent to transfer has been issued by the commissioner of lands.


STEP 9 : VALUATION

For purposes of stamp duty, an application for valuation is always made to the government valuer, who makes a site visit to enable him or her to prepare the requisite valuation report. Stamp duty is important as it is used in registering the property.

The payable duty is determined by a government valuer and the valuation is done to determine the true value of the land on the open market as at the date of transfer. The intention is to gauge the value declared in the instruments presented for registration for purposes of ascertaining whether the value declared in the instruments will be raised or not.


STEP 10 : PAYMENT OF STAMP DUTY

It is the responsibility of the buyer to pay the stamp duty, a tax levied on all lands.


STEP 11 : REGISTRAION OF TRANSFER

Once the registration process is complete, the legal ownership of the land shall have legally changed hands.


STEP 12 : EXCHANGE OF DOCUMENTS

Upon receipt of the complete documents from the seller, the buyer is obligated, in exchange of the documents, to pay to the seller the entire balance against the land through his advocates to finalize the registration of the documents after paying the requisite stamp duty.


On a final note completion documents are key to ensure a proper transfer. The completion documents will include:

1. Original Title in the name of the seller.

2. Duly executed transfer forms in triplicate (must be sealed if a company is selling)

3. Passport Photos of the Vendor if it’s an individual and if a company, then 3 photos each of 2 directors of the company

4. Copy of Pin Number of the Vendor

5. Copy of National ID of the Vendor and if a company copies of National IDs for 2 directors who’ll sign the transfer forms.

6. Copy of the registration Certificate if it’s a company.

7. PIN Certificate of Company

8. Rates Clearance Certificate (In Case the tenancy of the land is leasehold)

9. Rent Clearance Certificate (In Case the tenancy of the land is leasehold)

10. Land control board license.

I trust that we have provided you with value in your decision on your future or could be your current land purchase. It is very important to us to secure legitimate properties to all our clients. That is VALUE to our clients for life.

For further information or queries you can reach us on 020 240 2302 / 0786 804236 and the link below

http://fb.me/msg/helpinghomesfm


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