How to Convert a Title Deed to Digital -Digitize Land and Property Records in Kenya
Kenya is referred to as the Silicon Savanna of Africa and therefore we can not afford to be overtaken by the digital transformation. With the advancement of the internet, Mobile phones, and now distributed systems backed with blockchain and other cloud technologies.
E-government is the ultimate route to effective service delivery within public services. Just like we shop for pizza online, most Kenyans look forward to a smooth future where one can within an hour complete a property transaction end-to-end.
As it is now, most Kenyans and by extension Africans can not perform an online Land Search. The Lands registry is old with inconsistencies that make it a challenge for online land transacting and land transfer in Kenya. The Title deed transfer process which should take minutes may take one close to 6 months. The Ardhi Sasa website is the flagship project.
All is not lost, the ambitious Lands and Physical Planning under CS Farida Karoney set a roadmap for the digitization of the Lands records and Transactions in Kenya. The staggered digitization process started with the Nairobi Land Registration Unit and is to extend to other regions.
Predecessors of The New Land Registration Act of 2012
(Old Land legal regime and laws)
The Lands Ownership, Search, and Transfer process was one managed by a cocktail of Acts of parliament and adopted legislations that have been so far been repealed and replaced by the unified Land Registration Act(2012)
- The Government Lands Act (Cap 280)
- The Registration of Titles Act (Cap 281)
- The Land Titles Act (Cap 282)
- The Registered Land Act (Cap 300)
- Indian Transfer of Property Act, 1882
What Title Deed Conversion Process involves
- The Lands ministry prepares cadastral maps capturing the comprehensive metes and bounds of the real estate property.
- Land recording of the land, or real property’s metes-and-bounds, and Graphical indices of parcels of a country or a registration unit for example Nairobi county.
- Publication of a Conversion list showing the old land reference numbers alongside the digital ones in the Kenyan Gazette, Local Newspapers.
- Announce the Date of commencement of transactions and notice of change of title deeds within the registration unit at the respective Land registries.
- Open a complaints window for dissatisfied land owners or property stakeholders.
- Close of the complaints window and full adoption of the new digital register
- Landowners can apply for replacement of their analog’ Title deeds.
Importance of Title Deed Conversion and digitization of the Lands Registry
- Speed up service delivery in the land departments through consistent indexing and documentation of land data.
- Address threats to the right to property: the Kenyan constitution under article 40 accords protection to every Kenyan the right to property. (Right to control, the right to exclusion, right to disposition, and right to drive income)
- Curb fraud including cases of stolen Land-Only Registry Index Maps (RIMs) shall be used for the registration of titles under the Land Registration Act
- Do away with inaccuracies such as double registration, and mismatching of Land ownership details resulting from the old Deed Plans.
- Harmonize Land valuation- Most parcels and properties in Nairobi, Kenya are overpriced.
- Speed up Land transactions through improved land administration.
The new Registry index maps (RIMS)generated by the Lands Ministry are from survey plans with the original fixed boundaries, which helps maintain the accuracy of boundaries - Institution of Surveyors of Kenya.
Requirements for replacement of the Old Title deed in Kenya
- Wait for the announcement from the Ministry of Lands in the Kenyan gazette, National Newspaper, or Radios. (Land Title deed replacement shall be handled within the respective registration units or Land department registries)
- Visit the Land Registry within your land registration unit.
- Carry along your original old Title Deed, National ID card, affidavits, or identification documents.
- Fill out LRA Form 97 (Application form) and attach your identification documents.
- Vetting of your application by the Land’s Registry staff.
- Canceling of the Old Title Deed and Issuance of a new Title Deed.
- Smile and start the fully Digital life of convenient, consistent online Land transactions.
Will the digitization of the Title Deeds change Land Ownership and acreage?
No! The conversion of the Title Deeds to the new regime under the National Land Information Management System will not affect the ownership, Land boundaries, and Land size. The Registry Index Maps (RIMs) shall be generated from the existing public survey plans data.
Will my right to Data Privacy be infringed by the New Digital Title Deed system?
The Government of Kenya has a Data Protection Act 2019 with a Data protection commissioner whose core mandate is to ensure the rights to data privacy are enjoyed by all Kenyans. It is however, the role of the government to ensure that such rights are fully enforced and that the systems set up meet the minimum international Data Protection requirements. The Possible personal Lands data breach risks must be met with foolproof safeguards and security mechanisms.
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