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Updates to land laws

By Anne Kinyanjui and Amrit Soar

We wish to inform you that the following regulations / rules / order have been gazetted:

The Land Registration (general) regulations, 2017

Pursuant to section 110 of the Land Registration Act, 2012 the Cabinet Secretary for Land and Physical Planning (the “Cabinet Secretary”) made land regulations through Legal Notice No. 278 in Kenya Gazette Supplement No. 176 of 22/11/2017. The regulations prescribe the forms to be used in connection with the Land Registration Act and also include guidelines on electronic registration and conveyancing, time limits for services at Land Registries, procedures for hearings by Land Registrars and organisation and administration of Land Registries.

In our alert of 20/01/017 we brought to your attention the judgment delivered by the High Court of Kenya on 19th December, 2016 in Anthony Otiende Otiende versus Public Service Commission and 2 Others (Petition Number 54 of 2015) in which a declaratory order was made that the registration forms and forms of title including Leases and Title Deeds made and promulgated by the Cabinet Secretary without input of the National Land Commission (NLC), necessary public participation and or parliamentary scrutiny and approval were unconstitutional null and void. The declaration of invalidity was meant to take effect if after the expiry of 12 months from the date of the judgment, the Cabinet Secretary failed to engage NLC, the public and Parliament. The Cabinet Secretary seems to have now complied with the order as these regulations provide that they have taken into account the advice of the NLC. You can access the judgment here.

The Land Regulations, 2017

Through Legal Notice No. 280 in Kenya Gazette Supplement No. 179 of 24/11/2017 the Cabinet Secretary made regulations in respect of the substantive land laws pursuant to section 160 of the Land Act, 2012. The regulations cover various land matters including conversion of freehold and leasehold tenure over ninety-nine years owned by non-citizens, settlement programmes, guidelines for management of public land held by public agencies, statutory bodies and state corporations and, guidelines and criteria for determining just compensation when land is compulsorily acquired.

The Land Registration (registration units) order, 2017

Pursuant to section 6(1) of the Land Registration Act, 2012 the Cabinet Secretary has through Legal Notice No. 277 in Kenya Gazette Supplement No. 175 of 22/11/2017established land registration units in the respective counties. Registration units are expected to ensure reasonable access to land administration and registration services.

The Land (extension and renewal of lease) rules, 2017

In exercise of its powers under section 13(2) of the Land Act, 2012 the National Land Commission has made rules relating to extension of leases and renewal of leases. The rules are published in Legal Notice No. 281 in Kenya Gazette Supplement No. 180 of 01/12/2017.

You can access the legal notices below. We shall send a more detailed analysis of these new regulations upon review.