Foreigners buying land in Kenya

Foreigners can own property in Kenya and enjoy all legal rights and protections that Kenyan citizens enjoy, however they are subject to restrictions.  Foreigners can own leasehold land but since the new Constitution came into effect, they cannot own Freehold or agricultural land.

There are currently many foreigners owning land titles that are Freehold, however, their interest in the land is now deemed automatically changed to 99 year leasehold.

The Land Control Act (the Act) restricts the ownership by non-citizens of agricultural land or land within land control areas. This land, in general terms, is land that is situated outside a municipality, a township, or a market or land that the Minister of Lands designates as being controlled and subject to the protections in the act.

It is therefore legal for a foreigner to purchase Freehold land in a municipality, township or is non-agricultural land but it will automatically be deemed to be a 99 year leasehold.  There are no systems in place yet to automatically change the actual Freehold title deed to leasehold and therefore the transfer is not straight forward but it is possible.

So far as agricultural land is concerned, a foreign investor may apply for an exemption from the President and if they lack the access, then an investor may obtain ownership or other rights through ownership of a public company.

You can see more information at the following weblinks:

This weblink will show the full procedure of purchasing land:

Foreigners’ Ownership of Real Estate in Kenya