Key Ways on How to Perform an Online Land Search in Kenya

In today’s bustling real estate market, conducting thorough land searches has become an integral part of the property buying process. Whether you are an individual looking for your dream plot or a business searching for a prime location, understanding the ins and outs of conducting a land search is crucial.

Purchasing land in Kenya can be a lucrative investment, but it is crucial to conduct due diligence to ensure a smooth and secure transaction. One essential step in the process is performing a land search. A land search allows potential buyers to verify the ownership details and identify any potential issues or claims on the land they intend to purchase.

This comprehensive guide explores the process of conducting an online land search in Kenya, providing you with the necessary information to make an informed decision.

Why perform a land search?

Before delving into the specifics of performing an online land search, let’s understand why it is crucial for anyone considering buying land in Kenya. Land records in Kenya used to be disorganized, which created opportunities for unscrupulous individuals to take advantage of unsuspecting buyers. By digitizing all land records, the government aims to increase efficiency and transparency in land transactions. A land search helps potential buyers –

  1. Establish Ownership: A land search reveals the full names of the registered owner(s) of the property, allowing buyers to verify the legitimacy of the ownership and avoid fraudulent transactions.

  2. Identify Claims or Disputes: The search provides information on any pending legal disputes or claims on the land, such as liens or encumbrances. This knowledge helps buyers assess the potential risks associated with the property.

  3. Determine Land Size: The search results include details about the approximate size of the land, enabling buyers to evaluate its suitability for their intended use.

Accessing Land Records at the Ministry of Lands

The Ministry of Lands in Kenya serves as the primary custodian of land records and documents. As an aspiring land buyer, visiting their offices or accessing their online portal will be the first step in your land search journey. Here, you can request official records such as title deeds, survey plans, searches, and any other pertinent documents associated with the property of interest.

How to Perform an Online Land Search

Performing an online land search in Kenya is now easier than ever, thanks to the digitization of land records. These steps below outline on how to conduct a thorough land search in Kenya.

  1. Create an eCitizen Account: Begin by visiting the eCitizen portal and creating an account. This account will grant you access to various government services, including the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning portal.

  2. Access the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning Portal: Once logged into your eCitizen account, navigate to the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning section. This section is where you can access the land search service.

  3. Select the Land Search Option: Within the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning portal, choose the Land Search option to initiate the search process.

  4. Enter the Land Title Number: To proceed with the land search, you need to enter the specific land title number associated with the property you wish to investigate. This number serves as a unique identifier for the land.

  5. Fill Out the Online Land Search Form: After entering the land title number, you will be prompted to complete an online land search form. This form collects essential information, such as the owner’s name, property address, and other relevant details.

  6. Review and Confirm: Once you have filled out the form, review all the provided information to ensure its accuracy. Double-check the land title number and other details before proceeding.

  7. Submit the Form: After confirming the accuracy of the information, submit the online land search form. This action will initiate the search process and generate the search results.

  8. Review the Search Results: Upon completion of the search, you will be presented with the search results. Take the time to carefully review the information provided. The results will typically include the registered owner’s name, land size, lease details, any encumbrances, and the land’s registration status.

  9. Analyze the Results: Based on the search results, evaluate the ownership details, any claims or disputes, and other relevant information. This analysis will help you make an informed decision about proceeding with the land purchase.

  10. Seek Professional Advice: If you encounter any complex legal issues or have concerns regarding the land search results, it is advisable to seek professional advice from a lawyer or a reputable real estate agent. They can provide guidance and help you navigate any potential challenges.

Land Search Fees and Payment Options

Performing an online land search in Kenya incurs a fee. As of the time of writing, the cost for a land search is 500 KSh. The payment can be made through various options, including M-Pesa, credit cards, or debit cards. Cash payments are not accepted for land searches.

Carrying Out Official Searches

Official searches provide valuable insights into a property’s history, existing encumbrances, and potential claims. These searches include a land search, title search, and caveat search.

A land search reveals detailed information about the property, including its location, size, encumbrances, and ownership history.

A title search ensures that the property is not subject to any liens or mortgages, while a caveat search uncovers any disputes or claims associated with the land.

Verifying Survey Plans

Survey plans are graphical representations indicating the exact boundaries and dimensions of a property. During your land search, verify that the property’s survey plan complies with the official records held at the Ministry of Lands. This step is crucial to guarantee that the land you intend to purchase matches the outlined boundaries, preventing any future boundary disputes.

Engaging Local Communities and Government Authorities

To ensure a comprehensive land search, engaging with local communities and government authorities is essential. These connections can provide valuable information regarding the legitimacy of the land, prevailing customary practices, and any ongoing land-related disputes. Their insights offer a holistic view of the property, further empowering you to make an informed decision.

In conclusion, performing a land search in Kenya demands meticulous attention to detail, comprehensive knowledge, and adherence to legal procedures. Remember to review the search results carefully and seek professional advice when necessary. With thorough due diligence and proper research, you can make an informed decision and embark on a successful land purchase in Kenya.

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