Conversion refers to the statutory process of migrating all parcels of land from repealed land registration statutes to a unitary regime under the current Land Registration Act, No. 3 of 2012.
The titles issued under the repealed statutes are cancelled and replaced with titles under the new regime.
The ownership of the properties, the parcel size and the interest conferred are not affected by this process.
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Legal Framework Governing Conversion
The process is provided for and regulated by various statutes including:
- Constitution of Kenya 2010
- the Land Registration Act No. 3 of 2012,
- the Land Registration (Registration Units) Order 2017,
- Land Registration (Electronic Transactions) Regulations 2020,
- the Sectional Properties Act 2020,
- the Survey (Electronic Cadastre Transactions) Regulations 2020,
- the Physical and Land Use Planning Act 2019 and the Land Registration (General) Regulations 2017
Rationale of conversion of Titles
There are three main objectives in the conversion of titles:
- To create a uniform system of identification of all land parcels as envisaged in the Land Registration Act (align registration system).
- To sieve out titles that were irregularly acquired and that had been registered under the old system.
- To allow all transaction to be carried out through the National Land Information Management System, otherwise known as ‘Ardhi sasa’. (New platform whose aim is to consolidate all land information and enable citizens transact on their properties with ease).
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Process of Conversion of Titles
Complaint is required to be submitted, in writing to the Lands Registrar in the prescribed form within ninety (90) days from the date of the Gazette Notice. The complaint should include:
- the name, address and telephone number of the complainant;
- nature of the complaint; and
- the grounds of the objection.
A complaint number will then be assigned to a complaint in order to facilitate further follow up and resolution. The law requires a Registrar to resolve the complaints within ninety (90) days of their submission.
A complainant may apply to the Land Registrar for the registration of a caution pending the clarification or resolution of any complaint.
The Land Registrar may also register a restriction to prevent any fraud or improper dealing in the land.
Once the complaint is resolved, the Land Registrar will order the removal or variation of the caution or restriction.
A person aggrieved by the decision of the Registrar can lodge an appeal in the High Court within 30 days.
Replacement of Deed Plans
It is important to note that the process of conversion of titles involves replacement of title deed plans with Registry Index Maps (RIM) as registration’s instrument.
The aim is to minimize incidences of fraud because RIMs capture a wider area of land parcels in a designated area as opposed to Deed Plans which focus only on a specific land parcel in isolation.
Boundaries of land will not be affected because RIMs are generated from the existing survey plans.
RIMs maps can be viewed and purchased at the Survey of Kenya head office located in Ruaraka.
Application for Replacement- Checklist
Where the land is charged, proprietor shall be required to obtain consent of the chargee and also ensure partial discharge of the charge for purpose of replacing the title.
The process of conversion is set to be carried out in phases, with a pilot programme currently underway in Nairobi. The Ministry of Lands has already issued a number of Gazette Notices containing various parcels of land marked for conversion and is likely to issue more Notices.