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Ardhi House land records go digital: What it means for land owners, buyers

EXPLAINERS
By Patrick Vidija | April 27th 2021

No more paperwork: Ardhi House has gone fully digital.[File, Standard]

Today Ministry of Lands marks new dawn with the launch of the National Land Information Management System.

The launch that was presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Lands CS Farida Karoney today is set to address fraud and corruption cases that have dogged land transactions in the past.

This will also seal loopholes in the land registration and transfer process that have allowed duplication of land titles, missing documents, failed file tracking system, tattered records in the land registries, and long timelines of service delivery among other challenges.

Once the system goes live, Ardhi House will no longer accept manual land documents at the Nairobi Registry as they will do away with manual land transactions. The city registry will also close all its manual registers.

But what does this mean to the landowners and buyers

  • A digital system means there will be reduced timelines in registering property and protecting investors and property owners from fraudulent land transactions.

  • Landowners will have no room to dodge payment of taxes as the system will also be linked to external service providers including the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the National Lands Commission, banks, and other key institutions involved in land matters.
  • Lands expert Arodi Saf says the law will finally catch up with landowners who have been defaulting on paying land rates and stamp duties. "It simply means you cannot hide from a digital footprint. This will drastically reduce corruption cases," he said.
  • Land buyers will be able to detect changes and any alterations to their pieces of land. They will also be able to know the size of the land with genuine owners hence putting an end to cases claims of double ownership.
  • Transfer of ownership, issuance of consent, valuation requests, payment and issuance of land rent clearance certificate are among services that will be offered on the system.
  • Others are payments of stamp duty, registration fees, consent fees, application and withdrawal of caution/caveats/restrictions, registration of land documents and searches.

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