The Business Laws (Amendment) Act was assented into law and came into force on 18 March 2020. The aim of the Act is to amend various statutes to facilitate the ease of doing business in Kenya. In this article, we highlight the changes made to the land laws and the consequent impact on land transactions.
We have extensive experience and insight into all aspects of land law and property transactions in Kenya. Whether structuring a complex development project or assisting in the purchase of a new property, our team takes a result-oriented, strategic approach to negotiate, document and complete all aspects of property transactions.
Some of our clients in the real estate market include:
- Real estate developers
- Owners and tenants of commercial and residential buildings
- Shopping centers and malls
- Multiresidential developments
- Mixed-use developments
IKM keeps clients abreast of any developments in the law and guidelines relating to land transactions through its ‘Alert’ service.
Our clients benefit from our significant experience in handling complex, long-term projects that involve drafting documentation, facilitating negotiations, navigating legal and regulatory issues and, when necessary, litigating on their behalf.
Experience has included advising:
- A real estate company on a multiphase apartment development project in Kiambu. 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 land ownership.
- 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.
- National Oil Corporation of Kenya Limited in a due diligence review exercise. This was in relation to the purchase of various assets (including various petrol stations and undeveloped property consisting of 24 parcels of land) from Somken Petroleum Company Limited.
- 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 involved 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. We reviewed and negotiated the terms of sale of the property, advised on the necessary permits required in respect to the manufacturing plant and 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 on the acquisition of various properties in Nairobi for the construction of luxury office and apartment complexes. The transactions involved carrying out of 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 more than USD11 million. The transaction involved co-coordinating the subdivision and change of the 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)
In the wake of the spread of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the real estate and loan markets in Kenya are bound to be affected. On 16 March 2020, H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, the President of Kenya revealed that three (and now 25) patients had tested positive for the virus culminating in presidential directives towards preventing its spread to the rest of the population
In this time of growing uncertainty, we recognize that many of our clients are experiencing significant business disruption and facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. We are carefully monitoring global developments, and adhering to recommendations of the World Health Organization and the Government of Kenya. In response to this, we have put in place business continuity plans to ensure that we can continue to seamlessly provide our services remotely should the need arise.
Amrit Soar, Partner Real Estate assisted by Wambui Muigai, Trainee Lawyer recently contributed to the DLA Piper's Real Estate Gazette.
We refer to the update on land laws issued in our alert of 09/12/2017 and our alert of 4/12/2017 on online processing of land transactions.