Why you should consider Land Rates and Land Rent in your Land Purchase Process
Are you a landowner in Kenya? Congratulations. Owning land is not an easy thing. Real estate is one of the country’s best ventures to invest in, thanks to its many benefits. However, some regulated charges are imposed on land like other goods and services in Kenya. This blog will break down land taxes and charges the national and county governments charge. This will help you know what to expect as a landowner. Keep reading.
1. Land Rates
Land rates are simply the taxes imposed by the government on land within a township or municipality. Land rates in Kenya often vary depending on location and the market value of your piece of land. The value of land increases once it is serviced with amenities such as electricity, water and sewerage systems, and much more.
Landowners pay land rates to the county government of where the land is located. Investors with a leasehold or freehold title must pay for the land rates. Nevertheless, any land used for religious worship centers, schools, or the cemetery is exempted from the land rates charges.
We advise you to visit the Ministry of Land in your local county government and learn more about land rates. Once you pay your land rates, you will be given a rates clearance certificate as proof of payment.
So, What Happens If You Don’t Pay Land Rates?
The local authorities can request a decree to sell your property and recover the arrears from the High Court. However, this will be determined by how big the arrears are.
2. Land Rent
Land rent is a charge imposed on parcels of land with leasehold titles where the annual rent has been reserved when the grant is being issued and it is payable to the land ministry. In other words, land rent is the rent paid for land usage, so in essence, it’s the payment made by a tenant to the landlord for the land usage. The amount of land rent one pays is determined by the location, quality, and demand of the land.
The payment process for land rent in Kenya starts with registering your land at the Ministry of Lands using your title deed and ID number.
How to Avoid Buying Land with Accrued Rates and Rents
There are so many issues surrounding land buying in Kenya, and one of the mistakes investors make is to buy land with accrued rates and rents. It is, therefore, wise to hire a property lawyer. Alternatively, you can ask the land owner to provide the land rates and rent clearance certificate.
If the land seller hasn’t been paying the rents and rates and doesn’t have the money to clear them, you can make an arrangement and have the buyer deduct the amount required to clear from the selling price. However, this will be purely the obligation of the land seller.
Taxing land in rural or urban areas is vital in Kenya. Unfortunately, not many new landowners understand these issues, and they buy land with accrued arrears. Lack of paying for these taxes could lead to the loss of your land, and that’s why you need to visit the Ministry of Land in your county government and know how much you are supposed to pay. Payments can be made online via E-citizen or at the local government office.