The land system is governed by the Constitution of Kenya (2010), the Land Registration Act (2012) and the Land Act (2012 and 2016 Amendment).

National legislation

Land Classification

In Kenya, there are three categories of land:

1.Public land is owned, used or occupied by the State of Kenya.

2.Community land is held by communities on basis of ethnicity, culture or similar community interest.

3.Private land consists of land held by a natural or legal person under freehold tenure and leasehold tenure.

Land and property

Restrictions applicable to foreigners

The Constitution restricts foreign ownership of private land to leasehold for a maximum of 99 years.

A person who is not a citizen may hold land on the basis of leasehold tenure only, and any such lease, however granted, shall not exceed ninety-nine years

Constitution of Kenya (2010)

Indicative rental costs

2014 prices: Source: IGuide Kenya. Prices are exclusive of service charge and tax.

Land rates

Each country government imposes land rates on all parcels of land. The country government issues a rates clearance certificate after full payment of all rates.

Land rent

A land rent –i.e. a levy imposed on leasehold parcels of land where the annual rent has been reserved at the time the grant is being issued- has to be paid to the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning. Upon payment of the rent, a clearance certificate is issued.

Building and construction

Before starting construction work, the investor has to

1.Obtain a construction permit from the county government

To get the permit, the investor has to:

a. Apply to the country government.
b. Submit an architectural plan for approval and obtain provisional building permit
c. Submit and obtain structural plan approval and final building permit
d. Obtain a project report from an environmental expert
e. Obtain approval of the Environmental Impact study
f. Request and receive on-site inspection by the county authority after construction
g. Obtain an occupancy certificate
h. Apply for water and sewerage connection

2.Obtain a compliance certificate from the National Construction Authority

The investor has to apply for project registration to the National Construction Authority. Once the preliminary compliance certificate is issued, the construction work will be allowed to start.