Land subdivision is the process of taking a large track of land and dividing it into smaller pieces for different purposes. There are procedures on how one can subdivide land through various government agencies. Whereas the large tract of land has a single title deed, the smaller portions have their individual title deeds.
There are various reasons why people choose to subdivide land. They include:
- To share among family members. For example, parents or guardians can subdivide their large tract of land to their children or beneficiaries.
- The second reason is to gift someone. There are people who subdivide their property to gift a friend, religious centres, organizations, etc.
- To sell for profits. Others subdivide it to sell a portion of it to settle bills such as hospital bills, court cases, school fees, etc.
- Real estate developers frequently subdivide properties to increase the value of the land and sell to those looking for properties to buy.
- Lastly, there are those who subdivide land, sell a portion of it and use the finances to develop the remaining portion of land.
Requirements for land subdvision
- Proof of official title deed search.
- Consent to subdivide the land from Land Control Board in your area.
- A triplicate filled PPA 1 form obtained from the county offices.
- Well-drawn scheme showing the proposed subdivision. It should include how the land will be accessed and how waste and surface water will be disposed.
- Signed planning brief from the physical planner.
- Title deed of the land.
- A well-drawn location map of the property.
- Payment receipts for application of subdivision and land rates if any.
Properties that cannot be subdivided
There are a few exemptions of the properties that cannot be subdivided. They include:
- A property which is a collateral for a loan in a financial institution.
- A property with a caveat on it to prevent any action on the property.
- Property with a court case which is still pending and not yet resolved.
Land subdivision cost
There are various costs throughout the land subdivision process. However, in all county governments in Kenya, the cost for the PPA 1 form is Ksh 1,000. The fee for the whole process varies and is charged depending on the land itself both the size and location.
Tax payment for subdivided land
If the landowner retains ownership of the new portions of land, he/she is not eligible to pay tax. However, if the intention is to sell at a profit and an actual sale is made, the seller is required to pay capital gains tax.
Procedure of subdividing land in Kenya
Here is the process to follow when subdividing land in Kenya.
1. Look for any restrictions on the property
As the first step, it is in your best interest to find out whether your land has any restrictions against it that may prevent you from subdividing. Before you begin the process, visit your local land registry and conduct a title deed search to verify whether the land has any restrictions such as a caveat on it. A caveat means that no action is allowed to be taken on the property. Additionally, a title deed search costs Ksh 550.
2. Evaluate the market
Before committing your finances and time to subdivision, analyzing the market will help you in following ways.
- If your goal is to sell, you will be able to know whether you will have an available market for the land and the prevailing rate to sell at.
- If you are selling to raise money to develop, a market survey of building costs will help you know how much to sell and the size to sell.
However, if the purpose is to give your dependants or gift someone you do not need to do any evaluation of the market.
3. Contact your local planning officer
Every area has its own local planner. As the third step, visit the local government offices to meet them. They will help you understand if your property is under any restrictions and whether it qualifies to be subdivided. This is an important step before fill in any subdivision form.
4. Identify the physical planner to work with
All physical planners in Kenya are registered by the Kenya Institute of Planners. Each one of them operates within a specific area. He/she will help you come up with a plan for subdividing your land and advise you on the possible outcome. The planner will advise you whether upon subdividing the land you will need to add utilities such as a road for easier access, a common facility for the new residents, etc.
5. Choose a surveyor
The Institute of Kenya Surveyors has custody of all registered surveyors in Kenya. On average the cost of a survey in Kenya ranges between Ksh 3,000 to Ksh 100,000 depending on the land. The surveyor helps you identify the exact boundaries of the property, locate any flooding area, etc. The surveyor will also advise you on the best way to do land subdivisions.
6. Draft the Land subdivision plan/map
Together with the physical planner and surveyor, draft a map proposing how you desire the subdivision to be done and also the sizes of each subdivided land. It is important to ensure that your drawing captures all the details you need your local government to take note of when reviewing subdivisions of land.
7. Submit your application
At this point, you will need to fill the PPA1 form, pay the application fee and attach a receipt of payment together with the proposed subdivision map and title deed of the property.
8. Receive your response
The duration of receiving feedback depends on the planning board of your local area. Some will take few days while others take time as some of them require public participation which takes time.
9. Apply for new title deeds
If the subdivision is approved, you will have to apply for respective individual title deeds of the subdivided land from the Ministry of Land.
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