By Gideon Mokandu

Introduction

The CS for Lands and Physical Planning, Ms. Farida Karoney, published a Gazette Notice No. 11348 of 2020 (“the Notice”) on 31st December 2020 notifying the general public of the conversion of specific old land registration numbers to new parcel numbers.

Legal Underpinnings

The conversion is premised on the provisions of Land Registration (Registration Units) Order of 2017 (“the Regulations”) promulgated under Section 6 of the Land Registration Act, 2012 (“the Act”). Section 6 of the Act empowers the Cabinet Secretary to constitute an area as a land registration unit, as well as vary the unit’s limits at any time.

Affected Parcels

All properties registered under the repealed statutes will be affected by this notice, starting with those in Nairobi, before rolling out to the rest of the country. The repealed statutes include: The Indian Transfer of Property Act; The Government Lands Act; The Registration of Titles Act; The Land Titles Act; The Registered Land Act; The Wayleaves Act; and The Land Acquisition Act.

The new titles will henceforth be done under the Land Registration Act, 2012.

What the process entails

Under Regulation 4 of the Regulations, the office responsible for land survey is mandated to prepare cadastral maps together with a conversion list for existing titles issued under the repealed land Acts. Thereafter, the cadastral maps and conversion list are presented to the Registrar, who forwards them to the Cabinet Secretary for publication in the Kenya Gazette and two (2) national dailies within thirty (30)

days of receipt. The Cabinet Secretary is required to specify in the publication, a date not exceeding four (4) months when new land registration units are to take effect.

It is on this understanding that the Notice was published and specified 1st April 2021 as the effective date. All subsequent dealings in the listed parcels will be undertaken in the new registers, under the new land registration units, from that date henceforth. Likewise, all existing registers shall be closed to pave way for the operationalization of the new registers by that date. Nevertheless, the closed registers and supporting documents will be retained in both physical and electronic formats.

Consequently, the Registrar will initiate the process of migration of titles for the affected properties. This will be done by advertising in two (2) national dailies and in radio stations of nationwide coverage, a notice calling upon the concerned owners to apply for new titles in the prescribed format. Each application shall be accompanied by the original title and the owner’s registration documents, for proof of ownership. Once new titles are issued, the previous ones will be cancelled and retained by the Registrar for safekeeping.

What you should know

  1. This exercise is meant to standard all title deeds in the country.
  2. Deed plans will now be replaced by cadastral maps (registry index maps).
  3. This exercise will not affect the size of your property. The new title issued after the conversion will have the following details: property owner details, registration unit in which the parcel is situated, new parcel number, size of the property and cadastral map number.

Follow Up Channels

Any aggrieved person may within ninety (90) days from 31st December 2021:

  • Make a complaint to the Registrar in prescribed form (Form LRA 96) set out in the regulations regarding the conversion list or the cadastral map; or
  • Pending the resolution of any complaint, apply for registration of a caution in the prescribed form (Form LRA 67) set out in the regulations.

Disclaimer

This alert is for information purposes only. If you need legal advice or will want to know whether your property is affected, please do reach us via our email address ikaraproperties@gmail.com