Kibatia & Company Advocates aims to provide compliance support and legal advice to clients on an ongoing basis which is direct, practical and innovative.

To this end, we hereby give the legal alert on the following:

LAND TITLE CONVERSION UNDER THE LAND REGISTRATION ACT (No.3 of 2012) AND THE LAND REGISTRATION (REGISTRATION UNITS) ORDER, 2017 LAWS OF KENYA

Introduction:

The Cabinet Secretary for Lands and Physical Planning, through the Gazette Notice dated 31st December 2020 Special Issue (Vol.CXX-11-No.242) and pursuant to regulation 4 (4) of the Land Registration (Registration Units) Order, 2017, published a list of parcels in Nairobi to be converted to new parcel numbers to establish a uniform land registration unit.

What is the reason behind the changes in parcel numbers?

The promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya in 2010 ushered in a new dispensation in terms of land policy in Kenya. In particular, Article 68 of the Constitution provided for the revision, consolidation and rationalisation of existing land laws through legislation by parliament.

Since independence, Kenya has had different land registration regimes under the repeated Indian Transfer of Property Act, 1882, the Government Lands Act (Cap. 280), the Registration of Titles Act (Cap. 281), the Land Titles Act (Cap. 282) and the Registered Land Act (Cap. 300). Each of these pieces of legislation created its own register with its own different system of registration.

The Land Registration Act was enacted in 2021 thereby repealing all other land registration statutes. This effectively unified the registration regime in Kenya under this Act.

It is with the foregoing that the Cabinet Secretary for Lands & Physical Planning has embarked on the journey of conversion all parcels from the repealed land registration statutes to conform to the Land Registration Act, 2012.

What does the conversion entail?

Section 6 of the Land Registration Act, 2012 as read with Paragraph 4 to 9 of the Land Registration (Registration Units) Order, 2017 outlines the conversion procedure as highlighted below:

i. Establishment of Registration Units;

ii. Commencing survey and other activities which include:

a. Preparation of cadastral maps together with a conversion list, indicating the new and. (where applicable) the old numbers for parcels of land registered under the repealed acts within each registration unit or registration section/block.

b. Publishing in Kenya Gazette and in at least two daily newspapers of nationwide circulation, the conversion list and cadastral maps and closure of the registers under the repealed act.

c. Migration of registers from previous repealed acts to the new registry;

d. Application by proprietors for replacement of titles issued from the closed registries.

What happens if I have a complaint as regards to the conversion?

Any person with an interest in land within the Registration Unit aggrieved by the published information in the conversion list or the cadastral maps is invites, within ninety (90) days from the date of publication to:

a. Make a written complaint in the prescribed form to the Registrar in respect of the information contained in the conversion list and the cadastral maps; or

b. Apply to the Registrar in the prescribed form for the registration of a caution pending the clarification resolution of any complaint.

How do you apply for the replacement of your title issued from the closed registry?

The Registrar shall publish, in at least two newspapers of nationwide circulation and announce in radio stations of nationwide coverage, a notice inviting the registered owners to make applications for replacement of title documents issued from the closed registers.

The registered owners of parcels within a registration unit shall make an application to the Registrar in the prescribed form for replacement of the title issued from the closed registers.

The application for replacement shall be accompanied by

i. the original title to the property; and

ii. copies of the owner’s identification documents.

On the replacement of the title documents issues from the closed registers, the Registrar shall cancel the previous title documents and retain them for safe custody.

What if I am not in possession of the original title document to my property?

In the event that your title is being held by a third party, e.g. banks who hold a charge over the property, you will have to liaise with the third party to make the application.

If your title is lost, you will have to apply for a provisional title in the prescribed form and issue an indemnity to the Registrar to be accompanied with the application for replacement of the lost title for the registrar to process the new title. This process however is subject to the directions to be given by the registrar.

TAKE NOTE: All transactions or dealings relating to parcels within the registration unit published in the Gazette Notice above shall from the 1st April 2021, be carried out in new registers.

We trust that you shall find this information useful and should you require further information or discussion on this matter, kindly get in touch with us on info@kibatiaadvocates.com

Please note that this information is for public consumption and not intended to offer professional legal advice.