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Real Estate

Real estate has emerged as an attractive long-term investment for investors seeking diversification and stable yields in an uncertain economy. As a sector, real estate must both compete with other investment classes and offer a desirable product to end-users whether they are buying or leasing. 

IKM acts for property developers, owners of commercial buildings, individuals, lenders, investors and all other groups active in the property industry. 

The firm advises clients on all legal issues related to this sector, including: the purchase and sale of property, leasing and subleasing, land use, joint ventures, construction, tax advice, environmental regulations, planning and development, financing, real estate investment trusts and dispute resolution.The firm also has expertise in the preparation of wills, probate and estate planning.

Experience has included advising:

  • A real estate company on a multiphase apartment development project in Kiambu County. The transaction involved the transfer of the land, preparing the offer letters, agreements for sale and leases, carrying out a change of user, registration of partial discharges and leases and the incorporation of a management company
  • A Fortune 500 energy company in the setting up of a proposed wind energy project in Kajiado County
  • Executive Properties Limited, a property development company, on the structure and legal framework of a development of 176 residential maisonettes, 72 apartments and a nursery school in Nairobi
  • A client on remedial actions to be taken to ensure that third parties could not challenge the ownership of their land
  • Hua Xiang Development Limited, a property development company, on the structure and legal framework of a development of 48 residential apartments in the up-market area of Lavington, Nairobi
  • In a due diligence review exercise on the instruction of the National Oil Corporation of Kenya Limited. This was in relation to the purchase of various assets (including petrol stations and undeveloped property consisting of 24 parcels of land) from Somken Petroleum Company Limited. The exercise involved preparing the relevant due diligence questionnaire, perusing the documents provided by Somken, conducting relevant searches and preparing a legal due diligence report
  • A leading investor in connection with an expansion plan of its integrated mixed-use development comprising a hotel with 250 rooms, a mall and offices, including preparing all agreements relating to project construction, retail shop leases, and advising on the overall corporate and management structure to ensure the intended mixed-use development is achieved
  • A leading global manufacturer of consumer products in relation to the development of a manufacturing plant in Kenya. The transaction involves the purchase of approximately 70 acres of land. IKM assisted the client in identifying the most suitable parcel of land to be acquired for the manufacturing plant including: reviewed and negotiated the terms of sale of the property, advised the client on the necessary permits required in respect of the manufacturing plant, and advised on change of user of the property in light of the intended mixed-use development. The brief also involved registering transfers at the land office.

  • A Chinese corporation client on the acquisition of various properties in Nairobi for purposes of construction of luxury office and apartment complexes. The transactions involved: carrying out due diligence on the properties at the relevant land registries and survey offices, confirming with the local authorities the permitted use of the properties, preparation and negotiation of the terms of the sale agreements, preparation and registration of transfer documents, finalization of titles in the name of the client, and post-registration due diligence
  • A leading school in the sale of a portion of its property for USD11.23 million. The transaction involved co-coordinating the subdivision and change of user of the property, drafting and negotiating the terms of the sale agreement, and ensuring that the client was satisfied with the conditions set out in the agreement
  • Ranked in Real Estate (Chambers & Partners 2019)
  • Ranked in Real Estate (The Legal 500 2018-2019)

FAQs on Sectional Properties law in Kenya

The Sectional Properties Act 2020 ("Act") was enacted in 2020 to align with the provisions of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and the land laws enacted in 2012. Subsequently, the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning gazetted the Sectional Properties Regulations ("Regulations") on 16 November 2021. Please read the frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the Act and the Regulations below.

Land use and control and its impact on foreign investment

Secure property rights, efficient land ownership and use are the cornerstone of any modern economy. Kenya has kept up with global trends in recognizing the fundamental role that land plays in sustainable economic growth and has made efforts to ensure that property rights are secured and that the law is clear to foreign investors looking to invest in real estate in Kenya

How Landlord, Tenant Bill will reform tenancy

The Landlord and Tenant Bill 2021 (Bill) was introduced by the Majority Leader in the National Assembly, Hon. Amos Kimunya earlier in 2021 and has since been passed by the National Assembly and is currently being considered by the Senate. The Bill seeks to promote stability in the rental sector by consolidating laws governing the relationship between landlords and tenants and repealing existing laws including the Distress for Rent Act (DRA), the Rent Restriction Act (RRA) and the Landlord and Tenant (Shops, Hotels and Catering Establishments) Act (LTA).

How investors can secure viable off-plan purchase

Many Kenyans consider real estate as one of the most stable and secure forms of investment. One of the options available to a person wishing to invest in real estate is to purchase the property “off plan”. An off-plan purchase is an arrangement where the purchaser invests their money into a project or a property that is yet to be developed or to be completed, on the promise that the property will be fully constructed within a particular time span. The purchaser would ordinarily have to pay the entire purchase price or the larger portion of it, which is ideally supposed to be utilised in the construction of the project