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Real Estate

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
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Owners and tenants of commercial and residential buildings
  • Shopping centers and malls
  • Hotels
  • Schools
  • 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 - 2022)
  • Ranked in Real Estate (The Legal 500 2018 - 2022)

Why digitising land records is vital

Kenya is often referred to as the “Silicon Savannah” given the role of ICT in economic growth. Technology continues to impact most sectors and their operations. While keeping up with this trend, the Government of Kenya (“Government”) through the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning (“Ministry”) in consultation with key stakeholders in the real estate sector embarked on digitization of land records, a process aimed at migrating information relating to land from manual registers to a digital database.

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

Long wait for apartment titles

Kenya enacted its first sectional properties law in 1987 but the law came into force in 1990. Its main purpose was to provide for the division of buildings into units to be owned by individual proprietors. Under this law, owners of apartments were to be issued with title deeds, as opposed to long-term leases. However, since the statute did not apply in exclusion of other statutes relating to land, most developers have been structuring their projects in such a way that buyers are issued with registered long-term leases as the documents of title, and this has become the norm over the years.