Picture of a title deed

When it comes to transferring property ownership in Kenya, there are several important documents that need to be considered. These completion documents are crucial for a successful transfer and protect both the buyer and the seller. In this article, we will explore the significance of completion documents. Let’s dive in!

1. The Importance of Completion Documents:

Completion documents are a list of original documents required to effect a transfer of property. These documents are mandated by law and ensure a smooth and legal transfer process. They include the original title deed, spousal affidavits for spousal consents where applicable, passport photos, identification documents, pin certificates, and signed transfer documents.

2. Understanding the Transfer Form:

During a property transfer, both parties are required to sign a transfer form. This form contains the details and images of both parties involved in the transaction, as well as the transaction’s value. The transfer form is prepared by the Ministry of Lands and is given by the county government. It is essential to ensure that both parties sign the transfer form correctly.

3. Certified Copies of Mutation Forms:

In addition to the transfer form, certified copies of the mutation form for the property are also required. The mutation form outlines the subdivision scheme and how the piece of land is produced. It is crucial to include this document in the completion documents to ensure the accuracy of the property’s details.

Imbuko plots

4. Understanding the Registry Index Map (RIM):

The registry index map (RIM) is a certified copy of the map that illustrates the boundaries and locations of land parcels in Kenya. It is an essential document in the completion documents as it plays a significant role in the digitization of title deeds. The RIM is more important than the actual title deed itself, as it proves the existence and location of the property within Kenya’s land boundaries.

During a site visit as a land buyer, it is essential to ask for the registry index map. If the seller does not have the RIM or the property is not indicated on the RIM, it is crucial to have this issue resolved before making any payments. The absence of the RIM could indicate incomplete processes or the property’s non-existence within Kenya’s land boundaries.

5. Importance of the RIM in Property Transactions:

The digitization process of title deeds in Kenya aims to unify the title deed regime by cross-referencing with the RIM. The RIM clearly illustrates the property and its neighbouring parcels or blocks of land. It is crucial to ensure that the property is indicated or illustrated on the RIM to avoid any potential risks. Without the property being clearly indicated on the RIM, there is a chance of paying for a property that may not exist within Kenya’s land boundaries.

Picture of registry index map

6. Prioritising Completion Documents:

In terms of order of priority, the most important document in any property transaction is the green card, followed by the registry index map, and then the title deed. It is crucial to ensure that the completion documents provided before the final payment or release of funds from escrow include the registry index map.

7. Risks of Incomplete Completion Documents:

Failure to have all the necessary completion documents in place can lead to potential risks. It is not worth the risk of paying for a property that may not exist or skipping essential steps in the process. The title deed alone is not sufficient proof of ownership, and the completion documents play a vital role in ensuring a legitimate and secure property transaction.

By following these guidelines, buyers can protect their investments and ensure a smooth transfer process on your road to owning land in Kenya.

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