Home News Did you know that your land title may not guarantee ownership?

Did you know that your land title may not guarantee ownership?

Did you know that the government can claim ownership over your land through compulsory acquisition as stated in the Land Act 2012 and there’s only little you can do about it?

You could get compensated, but the process may take a long wait than expected as said by Benard Wanjohi through the standard. Benard, who is a land surveyor, also said that the legal process is at times too long and cumbersome to the extent that some people tend to give up on the land.

According to section 25 of the Land Registration Act 2012, it provides for the rights of a proprietor. It states that a proof of title to the land confers their rights to the property and they may dispose of the land and transfer it at will.

Other rights known as servitudes may be granted to other people who are not owners of the land, and they include, right to way and the right to take something from the land which may be of profit. This right is known as profit aprendre.

The government could take ownership of the land whenever such a situation arises as they reserve such rights. Take for example one of the maxims that define land which is ”Quicquid plantatur solo solo cedit. It means the surface, buildings or parts of a building and whatever is attached to the land becomes part of the land.

Generally, whoever owns the land also owns the things that are attached to it. But there are exceptions to these rules as one cannot own minerals attached to the land or water bodies. The Mining Act provides that, ”In any case where the government is acquiring any land held under a lease, exclusive prospecting license, special licence or location, compensation shall be payable in respect of any disturbance of prospecting or mining rights, in addition to any other compensation”.

Also, if the government considers your land to be idyllic for passage of the highway or a railway line, the government may acquire it, and compensation will be made. Another situation is where one has built near a riparian land which is defined as being minimum of 6 metres and up to a maximum of 30 metres on either side of a riverbank from the highest watermark.

Another situation is when 99 years over a leasehold interest has lapsed. The land then reverts to the government.

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