In May 2023, the Senator of Trans Nzoia County, Senator Allan Chesang sponsored the Real Estate Regulation Bill (Bill), which is currently under consideration by Senate. The Bill draws heavily from the Indian Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act of 2016 (RERA), which regulates India’s real estate and property market. Kenya’s real estate market is estimated by Statista to be worth USD 7.91 Billion is dwarfed in comparison to global giants like India’s USD 265.18 Billion market. While the two countries’ real estate sectors differ significantly in size, they seem to share common concerns: the need for a specialised legal framework to protect real estate consumers.
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 - 2022)
- Ranked in Real Estate (The Legal 500 2018 - 2022)
Inflation rates in Kenya have steadily increased impacting the cost of living. One of the sectors affected is the real estate sector where inflation has resulted in increased construction costs, property values, rent and other operational and maintenance costs such as service charge
The ever increasing rural to urban migration has led to a proliferation of informal settlements with little or no social amenities such as water, drainage and sewerage systems. This situation has rendered article 43 of the Constitution which inter alia, entitles every person a right to accessible and adequate housing, and to reasonable standards of sanitation, nugatory.
Policies on ownership of agricultural land vary from country to country. Some countries prohibit ownership of agricultural land by foreigners while others have an open door policy allowing foreigners to own agricultural land. For countries that restrict ownership of agricultural land by foreigners, the differential treatment is premised on the need to localize food security.
Ardhisasa is a platform through which land transactions, previously done manually, can now be done online.