Govt Issues Guidelines on Purchase of Cheap Apartments

  • A line of highrise rental houses in Nairobi
    A line of highrise rental houses in Nairobi.
  • The government through the Ministry of Lands has set out guidelines to facilitate the purchase of apartment units in the country.

    With the enactment of the Sectional Properties Act, 2020 which provides for the division of buildings into units to be owned by individual proprietors, the Ministry on Friday, April 23, issued a notice of the Regulatory Impact Statement (RIA) to facilitate the implementation of the law.

    The Act was signed into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta which is structured to support Kenya’s affordable housing scheme.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta assenting to bills at State House on March 30, 2021.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta assenting to bills at State House on March 30, 2021.

    On Friday, April 23, the Cabinet Secretary notified the public that the RIA had proposed Sectional Properties Regulations, 2021 to effect implementation of the Sectional Properties Act, 2020. 

    The regulations provide for the closure of head lease or mother title on registration of the sectional plan and ensure that the developer does not retain the same to endanger the security of title held by unit owners.

    "Certificate of lease or certificate of the title held by the unit owner shall include the proportionate
    share of the common area of the sectional property," the draft regulations state.

    As such, every level of such a building is considered an independent parcel of land. The move will go a long way in solving house ownership wrangles in Kenya.

    The regulations add that the ground rent and rates in respect of each unit title shall be assessed in respect of each unit and shall be the responsibility of each individual owner.

    "This is to avoid scenarios where unit owners have to pay through the developer/management company which often led to delays/default," the document read in part.

    Additionally, all long-term leases/subleases irregularly registered shall be reviewed to conform with the provisions of section 54(5) of the LRA. A developer, an owner, or the corporation may, on an application made to the registrar, initiate the review.

    The RIA statement is usually conducted before a new government regulation is introduced to provide a detailed and systematic appraisal of the potential impact of new regulation in order to assess whether the regulation is likely to achieve the desired objectives.

    "This is therefore to request all persons likely to be affected by the proposed regulations to submit written memoranda on the proposed regulations to reach the undersigned within 14 days from the date of publication of this notice," the ministry advised.

    An image of Affordable Housing Project
    Apartments under the affordable housing project located at Park Road, Ngara in Nairobi.