The enactment of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 introduced various reforms in the Land Sector to ensure that land is held, used, and managed in a manner that is equitable, efficient, productive, and sustainable. Specifically, under Article 68 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, Parliament was given the mandate to enact legislation that provides for the revision, consolidation, and rationalization of existing land laws. In compliance with the said provision, the Land Registration Act 2012 was enacted with the objective to revise, consolidate and rationalize the registration of titles to land in Kenya, and to give effect to the principles and objects of devolved government in land registration.
The Land Registration Act 2012 repealed the former statutory regimes wherein different land registers were created and maintained for the respective titles issued under the various statutes including The 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).
Under Section 6 of the Land Registration Act 2012, the former registration regimes are to be consolidated into a uniform land registration system by way of a migration process at the County level. However, the migration/conversion of land registration is a progressive process and the titles issued under the old regimes still continue to date.
Procedure for Conversion of Land Registration
The migration process is provided for under Section 6 of The Land Registration Act 2012 and The Land Registration (Registration Units) Order, 2017. It entails;
- Establishment of an area(s) of land(s) to be made a land registration unit by the Cabinet Secretary. This is done in consultation with the Land Commission and the County Governments.
- Survey for the division of the registration units into registration sections which may further be divided into blocks. The registration sections are to be identified using distinctive names while the blocks are to be given consecutive distinctive numbers, letters, or combinations of numbers and letters.
- Preparation of Cadastral maps and a conversion list indicating the new and old parcel numbers within each registration unit, section, or block.
- The office responsible for the land survey submits the cadastral maps together with the conversion list to the registrar who then submits the same to the Cabinet secretary.
- Within 30 days of receipt, the Cabinet Secretary publishes the cadastral maps and conversion list in the Kenya Gazette and at least two daily newspapers of nationwide circulation notifying the public of the conversion. A copy of the publication is also sent to the relevant county government for further broadcasting to the public.
- Lodging of any complaints concerning the publication by any aggrieved person who has an interest in the corresponding registration units to the registrar in writing within 90 days from the date of publication. (Complaints are made using Form LRA 96 set out in the Second Schedule of The Land Registration (Registration Units) Order.)
- Closure of the old registers and the simultaneous migration of the subsisting particular entries and documents to the new register.
- Application for the replacement of titles issued in the old registers by the registered proprietors. (Application is done using Form LRA 97 set out in the Second Schedule of The Land Registration (Registration Units) Order, 2017. Accompanying documents for the application include the original title issued in the old regime and copies of identification documents of the registered proprietor)
- Upon replacement, the Registrar cancels the previous title documents and retains them for safe custody.
Effects of Conversion of Land Registration
- Revocation of titles issued under the old regimes. However, the registrar retains custody of the revoked titles.
- Issuance of new titles under the Land Registration Act 2012.
- The deed plan registration instruments are replaced with Registry Index Maps (RIMs), however, the boundaries of the land are maintained.
- Ownership of land is maintained.
- The land tenure is maintained.
- Encumbrances and other registered interests against the titles issued under the old regimes are automatically migrated to the new register and titles.
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- Patrick Macharia-Associate Advocate
- Angela Wanja-Lawyer
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