Completion Documents in Conveyancing: Certificates Needed

Completion documents in conveyancing are required to complete the sale of property and transfer legal ownership to the buyer in exchange for the purchase price.

Conveyancing in Kenya - Getting a property lawyer in Kenya

Real estate transactions must go through several stages before the property can be transferred from seller to buyer. To ensure a smooth process, you may need to hire a property lawyer who will ensure all the legally binding aspects are done correctly, including ensuring all completion documents in conveyancing are in order.

During conveyancing, the seller transfers ownership or title of the property to the buyer after all legal obligations are met. Several documents are involved in this process to solidify the real estate deal. Conveyancing also involves things like settlement of taxes, property searches, signing and exchange of contracts, and release of funds.

What Is Completion in Conveyancing?

Completion is the final stage in the conveyancing process and one of the most important stages after the exchange of contracts. After this stage, the land or house becomes the legal property of the buyer.
Conveyancing makes a property deal completely legal, thus giving the involved parties security against anything that may happen later. After this process is done, the seller should vacate the property. The sale is completed when the buyer transfers funds to the seller’s conveyancers and the funds are cleared.

READ ALSO: A Step-by-Step Guide to Buying a House in Kenya

What Are Completion Documents?

Completion documents in conveyance must be produced to complete the property transfer process and solidify the transaction. In real estate, legally binding documents must be exchanged as stipulated in contract laws which demand that a transaction relating to property must be in writing.
Documents you will need during the completion of conveyancing include;

  • Original Title Deed or Certificate of Title
  • Executed transfer on interest in land duly signed by the vendor.
  • Consent to transfer land in Kenya: Relevant documents for the consent of transfer are Spousal Consent, Head Lessor’s Consent, Land Control Board Consent to Transfer, Consent of Commissioner of Lands to leasehold interests, consent of any mortgagee with interest in the land.
  • Clearances for land rates and land rent accompanied by receipts
  • Certificate of Occupation and Certificate of Practical Completion if the property is newly completed.
  • Identification documents like KRA PIN certificates, National IDs, and coloured photos
  • Land Rent Clearance Certificate (only for leasehold titles)
  • Land Rates Clearance Certificate if the local government has levied land rates on the property.
  • Original Land Rent and Land Rates receipts
  • Notice of withdrawal of caveat or caution if there are any third parties with interest in the property
  • Power of attorney

After completion documents are exchanged, the buyer and their lawyer must ensure the transfer is registered in the client’s name. After verifying with an attorney that all the paperwork is okay, the buyer will pay the purchase price balance in its exchange.

READ ALSO: A Beginner’s Guide and Legal Process to Buying Land In Kenya

READ ALSO: The Benefits of a Title Deed for Your Property in Kenya

Conveyancing Process in Kenya

The following process is important to ensure a smooth property ownership transfer from the seller to the buyer.

  • Choose a professional conveyancer who will handle all the legal aspects of the property sale.
  • Determine the purchase price based on the current market value of the property. You may need to pay the seller a deposit to secure the sale.
  • Sign a Land Sale Agreement after understanding all the legal terms in the document.
  • Obtain financing to cover the purchase price.
  • Conduct a Title search to ensure the seller has clear ownership of the property and that there are no outstanding debts or legal issues.
  • Review the Title Deed to understand the property ownership rights and responsibilities.
  • Pay the purchase price after verifying and signing completion documents to ensure proper property transfer. You should also pay taxes relating to property transfer. After this process, you will become the official and legal owner of the property. Title Deed transfer is usually done at the Lands Office to ensure the transfer of ownership is registered.

READ ALSO: Should I Use a Conveyancing Lawyer or a Solicitor?

Off-plan Conveyancing in Kenya

Off-plan conveyancing involves the legal transfer of ownership of property that is still under construction. The process involves the following steps;

  • A contract between the buyer and developer must be drawn to outline the terms and conditions of the transfer. The parties will then sign the contract.
  • The buyer makes an initial deposit to secure the sale. They can then make regular payments as agreed in the contract.
  • The developer will continue the construction as agreed and secure needed permits and approvals.
  • Transfer of property ownership to buyer after property construction is complete and necessary completion documents exchanged.

READ ALSO: 4 Reasons Why Hiring a Property Advocate is Essential

Charges, Costs & Fees in Conveyancing in Kenya

Purchasing property in Kenya involves several costs in addition to the purchase price. Charges to be familiar with include;

  • Stamp Duty Tax paid during the transfer of property
  • Legal fees that may amount to about 2% of the property purchase price
  • Registration fees paid to the Lands Registry to cover the cost of entry into the registry
  • Land rates and land rent in leasehold properties
  • Consent of transfer fees: You will have to pay a fee of Ksh1,000 to get Consent to Transfer from the Commissioner of Lands
  • Other costs are plot deposit, valuation costs, and title deed search costs.

In Conclusion

Completion documents in conveyancing ensure the transfer of the legal title or ownership of property from seller to buyer. In most cases, the process is enabled by a conveyance attorney who ensures all the legal obligations are met. The documents are crucial because they make the whole real estate transaction legally binding.

Nixon Aswani - Content Strategist
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