A title deed is one of the most important documents in Kenya and probably in the world. This derives from the high regard in which people hold land. It is important as it is the conclusive proof of land ownership in Kenya. The Law says whoever is registered owns the land. Apart from that it always acts as a security when seeking financial aid. For instance, when you want to take a loan you could use land as collateral.
Based on the above, it becomes imperative that the document be kept with utmost care. However, it is not strange that some circumstances can lead to the destruction, misplacement or losing the title deed. The procedure below is a skeleton of what should be followed when a Title Deed is lost.
Step No 1: Reporting
to the Police
When a title deed gets lost, one needs to first report the matter to the police. Accordingly, one is supposed to be issued with a police abstract. The purpose of the abstract is to show that your title Deed is lost and the government through the Kenya Police is aware.
Step No 2: Ascertaining
the Status of the Lost Title Deed
The next step is to visit the Land Registry and apply for a search of the lost Title. This is aimed at ensuring that the Registry files show that the piece of land actually belongs to you.
Step No 3: Swearing an
In legal terms, an affidavit is a sworn statement. It is therefore regarded that whatever has been sworn on the affidavit is the truth and nothing but the truth. It has more weight than a mere statement. To swear an affidavit you will have to contact an advocate who is a Commissioner of Oaths.
As part of the affidavit you will annex a copy of the abstract. It is also in the affidavit where you will explain the circumstances under which the Title Deed got lost. Additionally, in the affidavit you shall commit yourself that in case you come into possession of the “lost” Title Deed you shall take it to the Land Registrar.
Step No 4: Filling the
The next process is filling the application form. The application form is a specific form. It is attached together with the Affidavit/sworn statement. The Police Abstract is also annexed to the Affidavit. Also important is a draft notice that shall be used by the Registrar to publish the information on the lost Title in the Kenya Gazette.
Step No 5: Lodging the
Documents with the Registrar
The documents stated in Step 4 above are then lodged with the Registrar of lands. Upon perusing and finding them to be in order the Registrar shall take it upon himself/herself to publish the notice in the Kenya Gazette. After payment has been made, the Registrar shall send the notice to the Government Printer who shall then publish a Gazette Notice.
Step No 6: purpose of
the Gazette Notice
It is a legal assumption that every citizen has access and can get the notice. The main intention of the Gazette Notice is to notify the public that upon expiry of sixty (60) days another Title Deed shall be issued to the Applicant. This other purpose of this notice is to give opportunity to anyone who has a claim or objection to the issuance of that Title Deed take an action.
Step No 7: Upon Expiry
of Sixty (60) days
After the lapse of the sixty (60) days provided, the Registrar shall once again confirm whether the procedure was properly followed and upon payment of the requisite fees an approval for the issuance of a new Title Deed is issued.
Step No 8: entries into the Green Card and the White Card
There are cards in which information pertaining to the past transactional activities in a piece of land is recorded. The Green card is when the land is free hold while the White Card is used when the interest involved is a lease. The District Land Registrar shall enter the relevant entries into the cards and it is after these entries have been made that the Applicant may be granted a new, replacement Title Deed.