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What are the steps of Land Subdivision in Kenya?

The subdivision of land in Kenya is a crucial process that enables efficient land utilization and facilitates equitable access to property ownership. This multifaceted procedure involves several distinct steps, each meticulously designed to ensure adherence to legal regulations, environmental sustainability, and societal needs. From initial feasibility assessments and surveying to securing necessary approvals and finalizing documentation, the subdivision process navigates through a series of intricacies aimed at transforming large tracts of land into smaller, manageable parcels.

Understanding the complexities and nuances of each step is essential for landowners, developers, and government authorities alike, as it lays the foundation for sustainable urban growth, effective land management, and inclusive development initiatives across the nation. In this article, we will delve into the key steps involved in the subdivision of land in Kenya.

Conducting a Title Deed Search

The first step for a landowner who wishes to subdivide their land is to conduct an official title deed search at the local land registry. This normally takes three days, and he or she should produce a copy of his or her national identity card, a copy of the KRA PIN card, and a copy of the title deed number or its number. The search is paramount because it enables one to ascertain ownership of the land and to know if the land has any encumbrances.

Obtaining a Registry Index Map

After the official search, the landowner, with the help of the surveyor, is required to obtain a Registry Index Map (RIM) from the Survey of Kenya. The RIM is a map that covers a large geographic area in which the land to be subdivided lies. After getting the map, the surveyor visits the land, where he or she takes some ground measurements to ascertain that the measurements indicated on the maps are the exact measurements on the ground.

Preparation of Subdivision Scheme

The surveyor prepares a subdivision scheme, which must be signed by a registered physical planner who gives a physical planning act form, known as the PPA 1 form. The subdivision’s blueprints are taken to the County Lands Office for approval. A PPA2 Form is issued after PPA 1 is approved.

Meeting With the Local Land Control Board

 After submitting the subdivision blueprints, a current title search that is valid for three months after the date of issue, and the PPA1 and PPA2 forms, the land owner books a meeting with the Local Land Control Board. This meeting is usually with the local elders at the sub-county level, who approve all land transfers in that area. A meeting with the land control board must be booked at least two weeks in advance, and the board sits only once a month. During this meeting, a landowner is typically asked what their intentions for subdividing the land are. He or she is also required to present himself or herself in front of the board with their spouse.

Placing Of Beacons to Mark Boundaries

 After getting the Land Control Board’s consent, the surveyor places beacons to mark the boundaries. In rural areas, an error margin of one meter is allowed when placing beacons to mark the land’s boundaries. However, in urban areas, cadastral (fixed) land boundaries, whose beacon positioning is measured in coordinates, are preferred.

Signing Of the Mutation Form

Once the boundaries are marked, both the landowner and the surveyor sign three copies of the Mutation Form, which is further signed by a more senior surveyor. The senior surveyor is commonly known as a licensed surveyor. The mutation forms, search documents, the consent form from the Land Control Board, and the PPA1, and PPA2 forms are then deposited with the district survey office.

Subdividing Of the Land

 A cartographer allocates new plot numbers to the subdivided plots. The same documents are taken to the respective land county registries to allow the land registrar to register the titles. The copies of mutation forms certified by the land registrar are taken to the Survey of Kenya to allow for the amendment of the maps.


The steps involved in land subdivision in Kenya are essential for promoting orderly urban development, facilitating land ownership, and enhancing economic opportunities. From conducting a title deed search, and obtaining a registry index map to placing the beacons, each stage in the process serves to ensure compliance with legal requirements and sustainable land use practices. While challenges such as bureaucracy and land disputes may arise, ongoing efforts to streamline procedures, improve access to information, and strengthen governance mechanisms are crucial for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the land subdivision process in Kenya.