How to do a Title Deed Search in Kenya

A title deed search is an essential step before purchasing land in Kenya, whether for residential or commercial purposes. This document verifies the ownership details of a specific property, ensuring you’re making a secure investment.

Search Methods in Kenya

There are two primary ways to conduct a title deed search in Kenya:

1. Manual Search at the Ministry of Lands Office:

This traditional method involves visiting the Ministry of Lands office in person. You’ll need to fill out a form and provide details about the property, such as the owner’s name or title deed number. There will be a fee associated with this search.

2. Online Search via eCitizen Platform:

Technology has streamlined the process with online searches through the eCitizen platform (eCitizen website). This convenient option allows you to search from the comfort of your own home.

Benefits of Online Search

The eCitizen platform offers several advantages:

  • Convenience: Conduct your search anytime, anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Efficiency: Saves time and eliminates the need to visit a government office.
  • Transparency: Provides immediate results and eliminates potential delays.

Step-by-Step Guide to Online Title Deed Search

Here’s a breakdown of the online search process:

Before You Begin:

  • Ensure you have an active eCitizen account. If not, create one by visiting the eCitizen website and registering.
  • Gather the necessary information: You’ll need the title deed number, your Kenyan National ID copy, personal details (address and phone number), and a copy of your KRA PIN certificate.

The Search Process:

  1. Log in to your eCitizen account.
  2. Navigate to the Ministry of Lands section: Locate the “Land Search” option within the Ministry of Lands section. You may need to use the search bar if it’s not readily visible.
  3. Enter the Title Deed Number: In the designated field, accurately enter the title deed number for the property you’re interested in.
  4. Complete the Online Form: You’ll be presented with an online form requiring details about the search. Fill out all sections accurately.
  5. Make the Payment: Pay a fee of Ksh. 550 to process the search. Accepted payment methods include Mpesa, credit card, and debit card.
  6. Download and Print the Search Results: Upon successful payment, you’ll be able to download and print the search results for your records. The information will also be accessible through your eCitizen account for future reference.

Understanding Title Deed Types in Kenya

Before conducting your search, it’s helpful to be familiar with the different types of title deeds in Kenya:

  • Freehold Title Deed: Grants the owner complete ownership rights over the land with no time limit.
  • Leasehold Title Deed: Ownership is limited to a specific period, typically 99 or 100 years.
  • Sectional Title Deed: Grants ownership of a single unit within a larger development, such as an apartment building.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  • Verifying Title Deed Originality: The Ministry of Lands maintains records of certified title deeds. During the online search, you’ll receive confirmation if the title deed is genuine.
  • Title Deed Verification: The Ministry of Lands can verify the details of your land title upon request.
  • Multiple Owners on a Title Deed: Yes, Kenyan title deeds can have multiple names listed, indicating joint ownership of the property.
  • Replacing a Lost Title Deed: Report a lost title deed to the Ministry of Lands. After verifying the transfer process, a new title can be issued within approximately 60 days.

By following these steps and familiarizing yourself with the process, you can efficiently conduct a title deed search in Kenya and ensure a secure land purchase.

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