Understanding the 3 Main Types Of Land Title Deeds in Kenya

Understanding the 3 Main Types Of Land Title Deeds in Kenya

3 Main Types Of Land Title Deeds in Kenya

Title deeds in Kenya are one of the primary legal documents that prove ownership and rights over a particular piece of land. But did you know that there are actually different types of title deeds in Kenya? 

Yes, in Kenya, there are three types of land title deeds, each serving different purposes and carrying distinct legal implications. In this guide, we will expound more on the three common types of land title deeds in Kenya that you should know:

1. Absolute Title Deed

The most common type of title deed in Kenya is the absolute title deed, which is also known as a Freehold Title. This is the type that grants the owner of land full and unrestricted ownership of a property in Kenya, thus offering the highest level of land ownership security. 

In other words, with an absolute title deed in Kenya, you will have the absolute right to possess, use, and dispose of the land as you wish.

Features of an Absolute Title Deed:

  • No Restrictions on Ownership Duration: Unlike other types of title deeds, such as leases, an absolute title deed grants ownership for an indefinite period. This ensures that the land can be passed down through generations with virtually no limitations.
  • Unrestricted Use: As an owner of this deed, you are subject to very few restrictions on how you can use the associated land, as long as it is within legal boundaries. This allows for greater flexibility and potential for development.
  • High Level of Security: An absolute title deed provides a landowner with the highest level of security. You cannot be deprived of your land except through due process as stipulated by law.
  • Easier Land Transfer: Absolute title deeds can be easily transferred to another person through a relatively simple legal process. This makes it easier to sell, lease, or gift the land.
  • Increased Property Value: Properties with absolute title deeds generally command a higher market value compared to those with other types of titles. This is due to the additional security and flexibility that they offer.

Benefits of Having an Absolute Title Deed:

  • Peace of mind: Knowing that you have complete ownership of your land brings that sense of security and stability.
  • Access to finance: You can use your land as collateral to secure loans and mortgages from financial institutions in Kenya, which can be helpful if you are looking to venture into business or make other personal investments.
  • Greater flexibility: You have the freedom to make land investments like say building your home, starting a business, or doing farming on the land  
  • Stronger bargaining power: Having an absolute title will make it easier to attract potential buyers should you decide to sell your land. You are more likely to fetch a higher selling price for the land.
  • Enhanced inheritance potential: You can easily pass down your land to your heirs with little to no legal hurdles.

2. Certificate of Lease

The other common type of title deed is what is known as a certificate of lease. This is a land ownership document issued by the Kenyan government to individuals and entities, granting them the right to occupy and use a specific piece of land for a fixed period, typically 99 years. 

Unlike the absolute title deed type, which conveys full and permanent ownership, the certificate of lease establishes a leasehold arrangement between the government (landowner) and the lessee (occupant).

Key features of a Certificate of Lease:

  • Leasehold Ownership: The lessee has the right to use and benefit from the land for the duration of the lease period.
  • Land Use For a Defined Period: The lease agreement specifies the duration of the lease, usually up to 99 years.
  • Land Rent: The lessee is required to pay annual rent to the government throughout the lease period.
  • Restrictions on Use: The lease agreement may impose restrictions on how the land can be used.
  • Renewal Option: The lessee may have the option to renew the lease agreement upon its expiry, subject to fulfilling specific conditions.

Benefits of holding a Certificate of Lease:

  • Affordable Access to Land: This type of title deed is well-suited for individuals and companies in Kenya who cannot afford to purchase land outright. In this regard, the certificate of lease provides a more affordable way to acquire land, which is one of the key factors of production, for a substantial period.
  • Long-term Security: The lease agreement guarantees the lessee’s right to occupy and use the land for the agreed-upon period, offering stability and predictability.
  • Investment Potential: The land can be used for investment purposes, such as building apartments, commercial spaces, or industrial facilities.
  • Flexibility: The lease agreement may allow for modifications or subletting arrangements, providing the lessee with some degree of flexibility in using the land.

3. Sectional Title Deed:

The third common type of title in Kenya is a sectional title deed. This legal document is issued to show individual ownership for units like properties within a larger development like an apartment complex, a gated community property, a townhouse complex, and other similar developments. 

This property title deed provides ownership of a specific unit within the development, along with shared ownership of common areas like gardens, swimming pools, and parking spaces.

Key features of a Sectional Title Deed:

  • Shared Ownership of Common Areas: The title deed establishes co-ownership of shared facilities such as gardens, swimming pools, parking spaces, and lobbies.
  • Defined Boundaries: It also defines the boundaries of each unit, including internal walls, floors, and ceilings.
  • Maintenance Responsibility: The section title deed outlines the responsibilities of individual owners and the homeowners’ association for maintaining the common areas.
  • Rules and Regulations: The title establishes rules and regulations governing the use of common areas and the overall management of the development.

Benefits of holding a Sectional Title Deed:

  • Clear Ownership: The deed ensures clear and secure ownership of your specific unit within a larger property development.
  • Individual Control: It provides the freedom to modify your unit within legal boundaries, including personalizing your living space.
  • Shared Infrastructure: You are able to access shared facilities and amenities, thus enhancing your living experience.
  • Collective Responsibility: It distributes maintenance costs and responsibilities among all owners, promoting fairness and collective action.
  • Organized Management: It can also establish a homeowners’ association to manage common areas and enforce rules, thus ensuring the development’s upkeep and value.

Wrapping up

That’s all about the common types of title deeds in Kenya! Remember, before you buy land in Kenya, you need to confirm that the seller is the rightful owner. One of the best ways to do this due diligence is to use the land ownership documents, like asking for the land’s title deed. You can also avoid complications in the process by buying title plots in Kenya from a trusted land-selling company like Fusion Estates Management.

We have amazing affordable title plots in the Nairobi Metropolitan areas like Kamulu, Kangundo Road, and Kikuyu, Kiambu, with genuine title deeds issued after 90 days of purchase. Contact us at Fusion Estates management at +254 723 97 97 97 or email at sales@fusiongroupafrica.com to buy affordable title plots in Kenya, today!

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