By Kendi Latoya
Guidelines governing the extension and renewal of leases were issued by the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning in consultation with the National Land Commission vide Gazette Notice Number 5734 of 2017 to guide officers of the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning, County Governments and National Land Commission and lessees, professionals and any other persons dealing with matters relating to the for extension and renewal of leases. The said guidelines cover both extension and renewal of Leases as detailed below:
Extension of leases
Within five (5) years before the expiry of the leasehold, the Commission shall notify the lessee by registered mail that the lease is about to expire in accordance with section 13 of the Land Act, 2012. A copy of the notice shall be forwarded to the Cabinet Secretary or the relevant County Government as the case may be.
The notice shall indicate the date of expiry and inform the lessee of the lessee’s pre-emptive rights to apply for extension of the lease under section 13 of the Land Act, 2012 and to whom to make the application.
If the lessee does not respond to the notification within one (1) year, the Commission shall publish the notification on two (2) newspapers of countrywide circulation and where to make the application.
If the lessee does not respond to both notifications above, the Commission may undertake a physical verification of the land with a view to establish the status of the land. If the Commission establishes that the lessee or his family is still in occupation, the Commission shall advise them on the need to apply for extension before the expiration of the term and the consequences of not doing so which may include forfeiture of the pre-emptive right over the land and the automatic reversion to the National or County Government.
b) Lease extension process
The registered owner or appointed administrator shall make the application for extension and shall be received at the office of the Commission situated within the respective land registration unit. The Commission Officer will enter the application into a serialized register and require the application to have the following attachments:
(i) Copy of the ID/Passport;
(ii) Letters of administration and confirmation of grant where applicable;
(iii) Current official search (one month from the date of appliction),
(iv) Passport size photograph;
(v) Certificate of incorporation (in case of a company);
(vi) in the case of a company, the names of the directors and their citizenship status including a search from the Registrar of Companies showing the shares of each director;
(vii) clearance certificate from the relevant authority in relation to all land rates and rents;
(viii) information whether the title to be extended will be subject to any existing encumbrance(s), and
(xi) proof that the lessee has complied with the terms and conditions of the existing lease.
Upon receipt of the application, the Commission shall within seven days forward it to either the representative of the Cabinet Secretary or the County Executive Committee Member for lands, if the land is vested in the National Government or County Government respectively, for approval.
Large-Scale Investments In instances of large scale investments, the National or County Government shall ensure that the extension is beneficial to the economy and the country as a whole; that the investment is in accordance with the national development goals and objectives.
The National or County Government shall before the approval of extension of the lease, seek representations from the County Executive Committee Member responsible for land, the County Government Surveyor, the County Government Physical Planner, the Land Administration Officer of the Commission and any other relevant authority. Upon receipt of the representations, the National or County Government may:
a. approve the extension of lease for a specified term; or
b. i. decline to extend the lease and give the lessee the reasons thereof within ninety days (90) from the date of the application for extension. Such reasons shall be limited to; where the National or County Government needs the land for public purpose in accordance to section 13 and upon satisfying themselves that the land is included in the County Spatial Plan and Cities and Urban Area Plans under the County Governments Act, 2012 and Urban Areas and Cities Act, 2011 respectively.
ii. where there is proof that the lessee has not complied with the terms and conditions of the existing lease.
The decision shall be forwarded to the Commission for implementation. Where approval of extension of the lease is granted, the Commission shall have the land revalued to determine the payable land rent and other requisite fees; have the land re-surveyed and geo-referenced; have the lessee surrender the existing title or lease certificate in consideration for a new lease.
Where the extension of a lease is declined by the National or County Government, the aggrieved applicant may refer the matter to an independent appeals committee established by the Commission. The Appeals shall be held at the respective counties in the office of the Executive Committee Member in charge of Land at the County.
Renewal of expired leases
Where the term of the lease had expired without prior notice to the lessee as required by section 13 of the Land Act, 2012, the Commission will require the lessee to apply for renewal of the lease. An Application for renewal of lease shall be received at the office of the Commission and shall be done by the registered owner of the expired lease or appointed administrator.
Applications may also be submitted on line through the Commission’s email: email@example.com.
The documents required to be submitted shall be the same as those of extension of lease as listed above including the original Lease to confirm the status.
a. the land revalued to determine the payable land rent and other requisite fees,
b. the land resurveyed and geo-referenced;
c. a new letter of allotment is issued in a prescribed Form for the parcel ;and
d. a new lease shall be issued in accordance with the provisions of the Land Act, 2012 and these Guidelines.
If any recommending authority is of the view that the lease should not be renewed, such authority will give reasons to the Commission within thirty (30) days. Any applicant who is aggrieved by the decision not to renew their lease can appeal to the independent appeals committee established by the Commission. The appeal or the application for renewal will not be accepted where the land is required for public use or where the lessee has not complied with the terms and conditions of the existing lease.
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