Easements in Kenya

What are Easements in Kenya?

In Kenya, an easement is a legal right that allows a person to use or restrict the use of someone else’s land for a specific purpose. It is an interest in land that is held by a person who is not the owner of the land, but who has the right to use or access the land for a particular purpose.

The owner of the land agrees to allow the holder of the easement to use a part of their land, such as a right of way, by either refraining from doing something on their land or allowing the easement holder to do something on their land.

Examples of easements in Kenya include rights of way for access to a neighboring property, rights to use a water source on someone else’s land, or the right to install utility lines across someone else’s property.

What Are The Types Of Easement In Law?

Here are the four common types of easements:

  1. Easement by necessity: This type of easement arises when a piece of land is completely surrounded by other lands, making it impossible for the owner to access the public road without crossing someone else’s property.

An easement by necessity allows the owner of the landlocked property to cross over another person’s land to access the public road.

  1. Easement by prescription: This type of easement arises when someone has been using another person’s land openly and continuously for a certain period of time without the owner’s permission.

If this use continues for a specified period of time, the person using the land may be granted an easement by prescription, giving them a legal right to continue using the land in the same way.

  1. Easement by condemnation: This type of easement arises when a government agency takes a portion of someone’s land for public use, such as for the construction of a road or a public utility.

The owner of the land is typically compensated for the portion of land taken but retains the right to use the remaining portion of the land subject to the easement.

  1. Party easement: This type of easement is created by a mutual agreement between two neighboring property owners. For example, one neighbor may grant the other neighbor an easement to use their driveway to access their own property.

This type of easement is typically documented in a written agreement and is legally binding on both parties.

Registration of Easements in Kenya.

Easements in Kenya can be registered with the government through the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning. The process involves filing an application for registration of easement, which must be signed by the holder of the easement and the owner of the land.

The application must also include a description of the land and the nature of the easement. Once the application is approved, the easement will be registered and recorded in the land registry.

It’s important to note that registration of easements is not mandatory in Kenya, but it is recommended as it provides legal protection for the holder of the easement.

How to Find Easements on Property?

To find easements on a property, you can start by reviewing the property deed and any recorded maps or documents associated with the property. These documents should indicate whether there are any recorded easements on the property, such as utility easements or rights of way.

You can also conduct a title search or request a property report from a title company, which can provide additional information on easements and other encumbrances on the property.

Additionally, you can contact the local government office, such as the County Recorder, to obtain copies of any recorded documents related to the property.

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