Land Title Search in Kenya.

Why Do You Need A Land Title Search In Kenya?

A land title search is a crucial process in Kenya that helps establish the ownership of land or property.

This process involves a search for the title deed, which is a document that proves ownership of land or a house. Before buying a real estate property, it is important to conduct a title deed search to verify the ownership of the land or property. 

Reasons Why a Land Title Search Is Needed In Kenya.

  1. A title deed search is important in preventing land fraud.

Land fraud is a common occurrence in Kenya, and many people have lost their hard earned money to fraudsters who sell land that does not belong to them. Conducting a title deed search can help you verify the ownership of the land or property, ensuring that you do not fall victim to fraud.

  1. A title deed search helps to establish the history of the land or property.

It is important to know the history of the land or property before making a purchase, as it can reveal any issues that may affect the value of the property. For instance, if the land or property was acquired through illegal means, it may be subject to repossession by the government.

A title deed search can reveal any such issues and help you make an informed decision when purchasing a property.

  1. A title deed search helps to verify the boundaries of the land or property.

This is important as it ensures that you do not encroach on your neighbor’s land, which can lead to disputes and legal battles. By conducting a title deed search, you can verify the exact boundaries of the land or property, ensuring that you do not overstep your bounds.

  1. A title deed search can reveal any encumbrances on the land or property.

An encumbrance is any legal claim or lien on the property that may affect its value or your ability to use it. For instance, if the property has a mortgage or any other form of debt attached to it, you may be liable for it if you purchase the property.

A title deed search can reveal any such encumbrances, helping you make an informed decision when purchasing a property.

  1. A title deed search is required when transferring ownership of a property.

When selling a property, the seller must provide the buyer with a valid title deed. Before completing the sale, the buyer must conduct a title deed search to verify the ownership of the property. This ensures that the transfer of ownership is legal and binding.

A land title search is a crucial process in Kenya that helps establish the ownership of land or property.

It is important to conduct a title deed search before purchasing a property to prevent land fraud, establish the history of the property, verify the boundaries, reveal any encumbrances, and ensure a legal transfer of ownership.

By conducting a title deed search, you can make an informed decision when purchasing a property and avoid any legal disputes in the future.

When Should You Do Land Search?

A land search is an important process that should be conducted when purchasing a property. It involves a search for the title deed, which is a legal document that proves ownership of land or property. In this article, we will explore when it is necessary to conduct a land search.

The first and most important time to conduct a land search is before depositing the property. This is because the land search can reveal any issues that may affect the value of the property or the legality of the sale.

For instance, if the land has any encumbrances or legal disputes, the land search can reveal these issues, and the buyer can make an informed decision before committing any funds to the purchase.

The second time to conduct a land search is before signing the Sale and Purchase Agreement. This is an important legal document that sets out the terms of the sale and purchase of the property.

It is important to ensure that the seller has legal ownership of the property and that there are no encumbrances or legal disputes that may affect the sale.

By conducting a land search before signing the Sale and Purchase Agreement, the buyer can ensure that the sale is legally binding and that there will be no legal issues in the future.

Another time to conduct a land search is when transferring ownership of a property. This is important for both the buyer and the seller, as it ensures that the transfer of ownership is legally binding and that there are no legal disputes that may affect the sale.

The land search can reveal any encumbrances or legal disputes that may affect the transfer of ownership, and both parties can make an informed decision before completing the sale.

Finally, it is important to conduct a land search periodically, even after the purchase of the property. This is because issues can arise over time, such as illegal subdivision of land or encroachment by neighboring properties.

By conducting a periodic land search, the buyer can ensure that there are no issues that may affect the value or legality of the property.

What Is The Full Process Of Title Search?

The process of a title search involves a thorough examination of property records to establish ownership of the property and identify any encumbrances or restrictions that may affect the property’s value or legality.

Here are the steps involved in a typical title search:

Request for Title Search: The first step in the process is to request a title search from the relevant land registry office. This is typically done by filling out a form and paying a fee.

Examination of Property Records: Once the request is made, the land registry office will examine the property records to determine the legal owner of the property.

This examination includes a review of the property’s chain of title, which is a record of all the transactions that have taken place with the property.

Search for Encumbrances: The next step in the process is to search for any encumbrances on the property, such as mortgages, liens, judgments, or unpaid taxes. This information is important because it affects the property’s value and ownership.

Identification of Restrictions: Another important aspect of the title search is the identification of any restrictions that may affect the property. These may include easements, real covenants, or other legal restrictions that may affect the property’s use or ownership.

Review of Findings: Once the examination of the property records is complete, the title search results will be reviewed to identify any issues that may affect the property’s ownership or value. Any issues that are identified will be noted in the title search report.

Resolution of Issues: If any issues are identified, the buyer and seller will need to work together to resolve them. This may involve paying off outstanding debts or liens on the property or negotiating a resolution to any legal disputes.

Issuance of Title Insurance: Once the title search is complete and any issues have been resolved, title insurance is typically issued. This insurance protects the buyer and lender against any future claims against the property’s title.

Are Land Searches Compulsory?

In Kenya, land searches are not mandatory by law, but they are highly recommended, especially when purchasing a property with the aid of a mortgage.

If you are a cash purchaser, you may choose not to conduct a title search, as your funds will be at risk and not a mortgage lender.

However, it is important to remember that lenders require searches for a reason, which is to protect their investment.

When buying a property, there are many risks involved, such as ownership disputes, outstanding mortgages, liens, judgments, and unpaid taxes against the property.

Conducting a title search helps to identify any potential issues that may affect the property’s ownership or value, and provides a clear picture of the property’s legal status.

Even if you are a cash purchaser, it is still important to consider the risks and benefits of conducting a title search. The cost of a title search is a small price to pay compared to the potential financial and legal consequences of buying a property without conducting due diligence.

How Long Does A Land Search Take In Kenya?

In Kenya, a land search typically takes an average of 3 days to complete at the Land Registry office.

During this time, the Land Registry office will conduct a thorough examination of the property records to establish the ownership of the property and identify any encumbrances or restrictions that may affect the property’s value or legality.

Once the search is complete, the Land Registry office will issue a stamped Certificate of Official Search (form RL 27) that shows the status of the land.

This document provides valuable information to buyers, sellers, and lenders about the property’s legal status and any potential issues that may affect its ownership or value.

It is important to note that the length of time it takes to complete a land search may vary depending on the complexity of the property records and the workload of the Land Registry office.

In some cases, it may take longer than 3 days to complete the search, but the Land Registry office will usually provide an estimated timeframe for completion.

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