So you have a large piece of land that you’re thinking of subdividing. But are wondering how to go about it and what it will cost.
When done correctly, subdividing land is a profitable investment.
If you are considering it, this guide will give you the information you need to make an informed decision.
Why Subdivide Land?
There are many reasons why you would want to subdivide your land.
- It is easier to sell smaller pieces of land as opposed to one large one
- It can improve your cash flow if you sell to different types of buyers e.g. homebuilder or a company
- If you want to divide portions among family members
- To offset a financial debt like a hospital bill or clear a loan
Challenges of Subdivision
Subdividing land comes with its challenges.
- You might not get consent from your neighbours who will feel that you are infringing on their land
- It is a long process that can get tiresome if you don’t have professionals to help you
- it is costly because you need experts like a land surveyor and lawyer to ensure you are doing the right thing
How Much Does it Cost to Subdivide Land in Kenya?
When subdividing land, the least size you can divide is an eighth (50 by 100) plot. The cost will depend on the size but it can start from Kshs 550,000 up to Kshs 2M according to Patrick Muthui, the CEO of Pettmall Shelters Limited.
How to Know Whether Subdividing is the Best Option
Even though subdividing your land looks like a lucrative thing to do, there are certain factors to consider beforehand.
Does your land meet the zoning requirements?
The best way to know if you meet the requirements in your area is by visiting the local planning office. They will advise you whether you can subdivide or not.
Is there demand in your area?
Doing proper research will ensure you don’t make a haste decision in the hopes of making money. Find out if there is demand for land in your area. Are you targeting first-time homeowners, investors or companies?
Are there any restrictions to subdivision?
Does the land have any caveats that can stop you from subdividing it? For instance, you can’t divide land used as collateral for a loan. You will get this information from the title deed search.
Land Subdivision Process
Here are the steps to take when dividing land in Kenya.
- Do a title deed search from Ardhisasa platform which will tell you if the land has any restrictions that prevent you from subdividing it.
- Look for a surveyor to help you get a Registry Index Map (RIM) which shows the map of the land to subdivide. The cost of surveying will depend on the size of the land.
- The surveyor takes measurements o set the boundary marks.
- The surveyor creates a subdivision plan that needs to be signed by a physical planner who will issue a Physical Planning Act (PPA1) form.
- The blueprints are taken to the County Land’s office which will approve and issue a PPA2.
- The landowner visits the Land Control Board, which meets once a month, with their spouse to explain the reason for subdividing the land.
- After getting consent from the Land Control, the surveyor will set the boundary marks.
- The surveyor and landowner sign the land transfer documents and take all the documents mentioned above to the local survey office who will assign new plot numbers.
- The documents are then taken to the County Registries to register the title deeds.
- The new title registration documents are taken to the Survey of Kenya office to amend the maps.
Tips to Subdivide Land in Kenya
Here are important things to keep in mind when subdividing land.
Have Professionals Look Over the Plans
Subdividing land on your own is a tedious and complicated process. You might be tempted to DIY as much as possible and save yourself some money on labour costs, but a lot of times that can end up costing you more in other ways.
A surveyor will help you draft a map that shows existing roads, easements, and setbacks that will stop the process. You can then have a lawyer, preferably one who deals will real estate, review your plans and make sure everything is correct and complies with any local laws.
For example, you may need to get permits or approvals from utility companies if you plan on running public water or sewer lines through your property.
A real estate agent can also help you know if there is demand in your area. They can help you know what plots of land have sold in that area and the market value of your land.
Look at the Property in Your Area
If you live in an area where people have bought smaller plots of land and have built smaller houses, it makes sense to sell smaller parcels of land and vice versa.
Inform Your Neighbours
Do you need to inform your neighbours before subdividing? Probably yes. To ensure not to cross their boundaries and keep them aware of what’s coming.
Plus, remember, these are your neighbours. You don’t want any hostility coming up if you don’t follow the right procedure for subdivision.
Subdividing land in Kenya can get frustrating without the right team doing it. If you do not do it correctly, it can get expensive and leave you frustrated.