Can Non Citizen Legally Buy And Own Land In Kenya?

Can Non Citizen Legally Buy And Own Land In Kenya?

Can Non Citizen Legally Buy And Own Land In Kenya?

Yes, non-citizens can legally buy and own land in Kenya. This is supported by the Constitution of Kenya (2010), the Lands Act (6/2012), and the Land Registration Act (3/2012), which grant the right to any person, either individually or in association with others, to acquire and own land in Kenya.

However, there are certain limitations and restrictions to consider:

  • Leasehold Tenure: Non-citizens can only hold land under leasehold tenure, with the lease not exceeding 99 years. This means that a non-citizen cannot hold freehold property.
  • Trust Ownership: Trusts can also own land in Kenya, but the beneficiaries must not be Kenyan citizens. The leasehold limitation of 99 years applies in such cases.
  • Company Ownership: A company is regarded as a Kenyan company only if it is wholly owned by one or more Kenyan citizens. Therefore, a company with foreign shareholders is regarded as a foreign company and cannot own freehold land.
  • Agricultural Land: Foreign investors and private companies owned by foreigners cannot hold agricultural land in Kenya. However, the president may exempt any person from all or any of the act’s provisions through a notice in the Kenya Gazette
  • Beach Front Property: Non-citizens may enter into transactions involving first and second row beach front property and land within 25km from the inland national boundary of Kenya without requiring the Cabinet Secretary’s written consent.

Given these restrictions, it is advisable for non-citizens interested in buying land in Kenya to engage qualified professionals and legal assistance to guide them through the legal requirements and offer representation in case of disputes.

It is also recommended to consult with the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning for updated regulations and laws that may affect the process of buying or leasing land in Kenya.

What Are The Leasehold Tenure Restrictions For Non-Citizens Owning Land In Kenya?

Non-citizens can legally buy and own land in Kenya, but their ownership rights are more limited compared to Kenyan citizens. According to the Constitution and land laws, non-citizens are restricted to leasehold tenure not exceeding 99 years.

They cannot own freehold land. Companies with foreign shareholders and trusts with foreign beneficiaries are also regarded as non-citizens and limited to 99-year leases.

Additionally, non-citizens are not permitted to own agricultural land unless a special dispensation has been obtained from the President or if the land is an initial grant from the government.

The Land Control Act also imposes restrictions on foreign ownership of land in certain areas, such as near the coast

In conclusion, non-citizens can own land in Kenya but within the limitations outlined in the Constitution and land laws, primarily being restricted to leasehold tenure not exceeding 99 years.

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