As a consequence of having been colonised by Britain, Kenya is a common law jurisdiction.
The main laws governing the real estate sector in Kenya are as follows:
- the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 (CoK), the fifth chapter of which provides for the categories of land, the principles of land policy, landholding by non-citizens, regulation of land use and establishment of the National Land Commission (NLC);
- the Land Act, 2012 (LA), which consolidates all the different land laws in Kenya and provides for sustainable administration and management of land and land-based resources;
- the Land Registration Act, 2012 (LRA), which is meant to revise, consolidate and rationalise the registration of titles to land, giving effect to the principles and objects of devolved government in land registration;
- the National Land Commission Act, 2012 (NLC), which provides for the functions, powers and internal procedures of the NLC;
- the Land Control Act (LCA), which establishes the Land Control Board (LCB) to regulate transactions affecting agricultural land;
- the Stamp Duty Act (SDA), which contains general provisions on the stamping of documents, the penalties, exemptions and the rates applicable;
- the Law of Contract Act (LCA), which requires contracts relating to a disposition of an interest in land to be in writing;
- the Landlord and Tenant (Hotels, Shops and Catering Establishments) Act (LTA), which provides for protection of controlled tenants;
- the Sectional Properties Act (SPA), which provides for the division of buildings into units, ownership of common property of buildings and for the use and management of units and common property;
- the Distress for Rent Act, which provides for procedures for levying distress for rent in lease transactions;
- the National Construction Authority Act, 2011 (the 'NCA Act'), which establishes the National Construction Authority (NCA), its powers and functions;
- the Environment and Land Court Act, 2011 (the 'ELC Act'), which establishes the Environment and Land Court (ELC), its powers and functions;
- the Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act, 1999 (EMCA), which establishes the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA); and
- the Physical Planning Act (Cap 286) (PPA,) which provides the procedures for the preparation and implementation of physical development plans.