By Joshua Ochom
Land inheritance is one of the most common ways of obtaining land ownership in Kenya where one party, often the older parents, pass ownership to subsequent generations (their children). This usually necessitates subdivision of land. However, in many cases, after the parent has subdivided land and given assigned ownership to his children under the customary system, the inheritors may make no effort to obtain title deeds.
This happens especially where parents did not have a title or they are unable to go through the tedious and sometimes expensive system of land subdivision, survey and documentation, or even ignorance. Where the parent is able to go through the procedures and processes, the normal sequence of land control which involves consent-subdivision-survey-consent-transfer-title (CSSCTT) should be followed.
Where I come from around the hills of Ramogi, most of our grand/fathers died intestate (without a will). In that case you will require a succession certificate confirming you as the administrator to the land. The certificate is issued by a civil court/high court after a petition and this is used to process the title-deed in your name.
If you find yourself in this scenario, these are the steps to follow;
1. Get the death certificate of the deceased owner of the land parcel
- Get a letter from your local Chief which clariﬁes the facts of the deceased’s estate and the spouses and heirs. The letter may mention liabilities where it’s necessary. Liabilities may include people who have purchased part of the land. The Chief’s letter is always addressed to the court. The Chiefs are entrusted with this mandate as they are expected to be closer to the family and hence in the know of all the relationship in the family of the deceased.
- Present the Chief’s letter and death certiﬁcate to the court and ﬁle an ofﬁcial petition or a formal request to the court to be appointed as an administrator of the deceased’s estate. This is done by ﬁlling form P& A80 called petition for letters of administration intestate. This petition is either attested by a lawyer or a magistrate.
4.The court processes (through the assistance of an advocate at affordable fees) including swearing affidavits, gazettment and certificate of confirmation of grant takes a maximum of six months. After which you are issued with the succession certificate to process your title.
To me this is a very doable procedure that our people should not shy away from given the benefits of title deeds in the economy of regions. Let’s do this
[The writer is a Valuer]