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How to Verify Your Land Title Deed is Genuine

Cases of forged title deeds are on the increase. Therefore, people are losing money to con men as they are taken advantage of due to their ignorance regarding land transaction matters. While thinking of owning land, it is vital to be aware of how you can verify a title deed before investing your hard earned cash.

As you plan to commit your money to buy and construct your dream home, verify that, the seller is the genuine owner, the land exists and is free from restrictions. Also be sure that you are not buying land on a road or railway reserve and above all, that the title deed is genuine.

In proving the authenticity of the title deed, you must conduct a search at the Ministry of  Lands offices. Search process involves taking a copy of title deed with your ID and PIN to the Registrar of Lands where you fill in a search application form and request for an official search and then pay the required fee.

Thereafter, you'll collect the search results, after a few hours or days. The search results should contain the official seal of the Registrar of Lands. You can also pay to peruse the file over the counter and take notes if interested.

Importance of a Land Search
The search results will show the name of the land's owner and will reveal any restrictions, if any, that the title deed has. The name you get from the search results should match with that of the person selling you the land.

You should also verify the names with the Registrar of Persons since some fraudsters produce fake ID cards with similar names those reflected in the title deed to cheat innocent buyers that they are the genuine owners. Trouble will unfold when the real owner shows up with his genuine ID card.

An indirect way of showing genuineness, is where the title deed show entries that indicate the property has been accepted as security by institutions like banks since such institutions normally carry out verifications on titles before accepting them as security.

Before a title deed is transferred to somebody else's name. The following should happen:
  1. Preparation and execution of a sale agreement-signed by both buyer and seller.
  2. Preparation of a transfer form signed by both buyer and seller.
  3. Getting the land Control Board's consent if it is an agricultural land within six months.
  4. Getting the land valued for stamp duty.
  5. Paying the stamp duty and getting the original receipt.
  6. Lodging the above documents plus the title deed and IDs and PINs with the lands office.
  7. Payment of transfer fees.
  8. Applying and paying for the title fees.
  9. The Registrar issuing a title deed in the name of the buyer or enters the new name in the grant.
In Kenya, land is registered under different statutes like; Registered Land Act (RLA), Registration of Titles Act (RTA), Government Lands Act (GLA) etc.

This registration statutes issue different forms of documents to prove registration. For example, titles under thr RLA, are known as Title Deeds or certificates of lease and can be freehold or leasehold. Under the RTA they are known as grants or certificate of title.

The easiest way to tell the difference is by looking at the wordings on the documents. For e.g. titles under RLA will read LR.NO. Nairobi/Ruiri/76/399 while those under RTA will read 76/399/Nairobi/Ruiru. In addition, title documents under RLA are small in size while those under RTA are big.With every new sale and transfer of land under RLA, the registrar issues a fresh title while under RTA, the registrar simply makes entries of the new buyer such as entry number 10,11,12,13,14 and so on.

To avoid losing your money to fraudsters, always do due diligence, verify the title with the registrar of land, and engage a lawyer in all land transactions.

Please note: The title deed is issued by registrar to a land buyer upon transfer of ownership by a seller. In Kenya, the law recognizes that the person whose name appears in the title deed is the absolute owner subject to the conditions indicated. The law acknowledges that a seller's title deed cannot be challenged except on the grounds of fraud or misrepresentation to which the seller is also involved.


  1. No doubt there so many matter where some might be effected by such fraud so we must find a life coach to get better guideline about such deeds.


  2. Very nice post having full information. Keep posting further....!!Title Search Services and Title Plant. Thanks

  3. whats the process of selling a piece of land in kenya? and what if i own a large piece of land what are the steps/processes i should take to divide it?...Thank you

  4. Tatianna georges2:59 AM

    Thanx bt am wondering whether i can do land search on google


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