LAND TITLE CONVERSION UNDER THE LAND REGISTRATION ACT (No. 6 of 2012) AND
THE LAND REGISTRATION (REGISTRATION UNITS) ORDER, 2017
The Land Registration Act, 2012 was enacted pursuant to Article 68 of the Constitution to revise, consolidate and rationalise land registration regimes under the repealed Indian Transfer of Property Act, 1882, the Government Lands Act (Cap. 280), the Registration of Titles Act (Cap. 281), the Land Titles Act (Cap. 282) and the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 pieces of legislation created its own register making land registration complex.
Section 6 of the Act envisages a conversion process particularly set out in the Land Registration (Registration Units) Order, 2017. The process entails establishment of registration units divided into registration sections/blocks. Parcels in each registration section/block are to be numbered consecutively. Sections 7 and 15 provides for the maintenance of cadastral maps for every registration section.
The Conversion process
The conversion process entails the following:
I. 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.
II. 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 a date to be the date after which the registry shall be open to the public for transactions or dealings within the registration unit.
III. 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.
IV. 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.
V. 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 make application 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.
VI. The registrar shall retain the old title documents for record and safe custody.
What Happens Now?
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 cancelled 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 (RIMs) as registration instruments, replacing the deed plans. Boundaries will thus not be affected since RIMs are generated from survey plans with fixed boundaries. Both the RIMs 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 (RIMs) will further minimise land fraud. RIM 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 in an RIM.
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.
Farida Karoney, EGH
January 12, 2021