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Title Conversion

The term ‘Title Conversion’ simply means ’the process of migrating parcels of land from the repealed land registration statutes to a new uniform regime under the Land Registration Act of 2012 where new generational titles are issued.

The Legal Framework governing the Land Title Conversion Process

The statutory process of title conversion is carried out to comply with the provisions of the following laws
Constitution of Kenya 2010,
Land Registration Act No. 3 Of 2012,
Land Registration (Registration Units) Order 2017,
Land Registration (Electronic Transactions) Regulations 2020,
Sectional Properties Act 2020,
Survey (Electronic Cadastre Transactions) Regulations 2020,
Background of the Title Conversion Process under the Land Registration Act, 2012 and Land Registration (Registration Units) Order, 2017
The Land Registration Act, 2012, was enacted pursuant to Article 68 of the Constitution.
It aims to revise, consolidate and rationalize land registration regimes under the repealed Indian Transfer of Property Act, 1882, the Government Lands Act (Cap. 280), the Registration of Titles Act (Cap. 281), the Land Titles Act (Cap. 282) and the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).
Each of these laws created its own register which made land registration complex.
Section 6 of the Act envisages a conversion process set out in the Land Registration (Registration Units) Order, 2017.
The process entails the establishment of registration units divided into registration sections/blocks. Parcels in each registration section/block are to be numbered consecutively.
Sections 7 and 15 provide for the maintenance of cadastral maps for every registrable section.
It is important to note that the land register maintained under section 7 exists in physical and electronic form as well. This means you can do the title conversion exercise online without eliciting any fees.

The Conversion Process of Title Documents
The procedure to be followed when converting and migrating your title documents is provided for in the Land Registration (Registration Units) Order of 2017.
It is as follows ;

  1. Preparation of cadastral maps together with a conversion list indicating new and old numbers for parcels of land within a registration unit or registration section/ block and their corresponding acreages.
  2. Regulation 4(4) of the Land Registration (Registration Units) Order, 2017, requires publication of the cadastral maps together with a conversion list in the Kenya Gazette and two daily newspapers of nationwide circulation. The notice shall specify the date after which the registry shall be open to the public for transactions or dealings within the registration unit.
  3. Any person with an interest in the registration unit shall lodge a complaint to the registrar who shall resolve the same within 90 days of receipt.
  4. At the commencement date, all registers shall be closed and all transactions carried out in the new register. All the closed registers and supporting documents shall be maintained in the new registration unit.
  5. A notice will be published in at least two newspapers of nationwide circulation and announced in radio stations of nationwide coverage inviting registered owners to apply for replacement of title documents from the closed registers. The application shall be accompanied by the original title and the owner’s identification documents. The registrar will replace title deeds with new ones.
  6. The registrar shall retain the old title documents for the record and safe custody.

How the Conversion Process of Title Documents affects you as a property owner?
The object of the conversion is to collapse land registration processes in the repealed land registration laws into one. All titles issued under the repealed laws shall be canceled and replaced with titles under the Land Registration Act, 2012.
The cancellation and replacement will migrate the parcels to the new regime while retaining the ownership, size, and the other interests registered against the respective title.
The conversion will mean full use of Registry Index Maps as registration instruments, replacing the deed plans.
Boundaries will thus not be affected since Registry Index Maps are generated from survey plans with fixed boundaries.
Both the Registry Index Maps and the survey plans are accessible to land owners on request for verification of boundary details at the Survey of Kenya Headquarters, Ruaraka.
The use of Registry Index Maps will further minimize land fraud.
Registry Index Maps displays all land parcels within an area as opposed to a deed plan that captures data on one parcel.
It is thus easy to note any change or edition made to a Registry Index Maps
Title documents held by third parties including banks, hospitals, courts, etc., as security at the time of commencement shall be replaced upon application by the proprietor.
If you enjoyed this episode, don’t forget to share this content and stay tuned for more on the repealed statutes, the purpose of the current regulations, how to convert different titles and why all these changes are important to property owners.

Robert Muoka – Conveyancing Lawyer and Real Estate Consultant at My Shamba Digital

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