5 Costly Mistakes to Dodge When Buying Land in Kenya

How to buy land in Kenya

How to buy land in Kenya is a million-dollar question,

With high cases of land scams in Kenya, you need a trusted source of information on how to buy land without future risks and disputes.

Buying a  piece of land in Kenya is a daunting task, especially if you are new to the process. 

With so much at stake, it is important to conduct due diligence before you commit your hard-earned money to buy land in Kenya.

 In this blog post, I will outline five important steps in land due diligence that you need to undertake to ensure that you are making a wise investment.

How to buy land in Kenya through Conducting  a background check on the seller:

The first and most important step in land due diligence is to conduct a background check on the seller.

You want to make sure that the person selling the land is the lawful owner and has the right to transfer ownership.

You can do this by checking for any land disputes or claims on the land by searching for the relevant land registry offices and law courts.

How to buy land in Kenya through  7 key  search steps 2023

Step 1: Get the Survey Map Number from the Seller before buying land in Kenya 

The first step in conducting a land search is to ask the seller to provide you with the survey map number.

A survey map is a map that shows the exact location and size of the land in question.

Ensure that the survey map number provided matches the actual property or land, or the land registration process will not proceed.

Land search in Kenya mind map showing all steps
This is a mind map showing all the steps in legal land search in Kenya.

Step 2: Visit the Ministry of Lands 

Now that you have the survey map number, you will need to visit the Ministry of Lands to search.

You can access the Physical Planning Office at

Ardhi house

on the first floor. It’s essential to have all the necessary documents for the search, including the survey map number, title deed number, and the seller’s full name.

You will also need to fill out a search application form and make the necessary payment for the search.

Step 3: Wait for the Results 

After the application, you should expect the results to be out within seven working days.

However, some searches may take longer where extensive research may be required.

When the search report is ready, you can collect the results from the same Physical Planning Office where you made the application.


  1. Step 4: Seek Legal Advice before buying land in Kenya  

After you have received the search report, it’s essential to seek the help of a legal expert such as a lawyer.

This is because the search report can be complicated and legal guidance may be required.

A lawyer can help identify any red flags in the search process and the legal implications and repercussions of the findings.


Step 5: Verify that Taxes have been paid and the ID of the Seller 

It’s essential to verify that all the relevant taxes have been paid before making the payment to buy the land.

Moreover, the seller’s identity should be well-verified through proper documentation.

You don’t want to end up buying the land only to find later that there are outstanding taxes or the seller’s identity is false.

Check for land documentation

The second step is to check for all the land documentation, including the title deed, survey map, and lease agreement, if applicable. 

Make sure that all the documents are genuine, valid, and up-to-date.

 Check for any inconsistencies or errors in the documentation that may signal possible fraud or a dispute over ownership.

How to buy land in Kenya by Visiting a physical site for scrutiny

The third step is to visit the land site physically.

 This will enable you to verify that the land on the documentation matches the actual location on the ground. 

You should also check for any physical defects or issues that may affect the land’s suitability for your intended use, such as soil stability, water sources, accessibility, and zoning regulations.

How to buy land in Kenya and Consult with experts: 

The fourth step is to consult with experts, including property lawyers, surveyors, engineers, and architects.

 They can assist you in verifying the legal and physical aspects of the land, as well as assessing the feasibility and value of any planned developments or improvements.

Verify the property taxes and other legal obligations: 

The final step is to verify the land’s property taxes and other legal obligations, such as zoning regulations and environmental permits. 

Make sure that the property taxes are up-to-date and paid in full, and that you understand any legal constraints or obligations that may limit your land use.

How to buy land Recap:

Conducting due diligence before purchasing land in Kenya is vital to ensure that you make a wise investment.

New taxes enforced by both levels of government must be thoroughly counter-checked to avoid hidden tax expenses or fines attached to the land.

Finally, ensure the land has an upscaling value in line with government initiatives and agendas like

Boma Yangu investment program when preparing for its development phase

Consult local property managers for undocumented land history.

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