It is the work of the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Planning to facilitate land policy and physical planning, land transactions, carryout survey and mapping, land adjudication, settlement matters, land registration, land valuation and the administration of state and trust land. Their main office is Arthi house in Community area of Nairobi City. People wanting to buy lands usually end up in the lands office for it is advisable to do a search in order to ascertain authenticate the ownership of the land. This is possible because all the records are open to the public. The sellers of the land will also go to the office to have their land transferred to the new owner’s name.
In the past when one wanted to do any land transaction it was the norm for people who had to look for their files in the ministry of lands office to take hours in finding their file. There were many file to look through and even then it was not a guarantee that the file would be found.This would force the interested person to make many trips to the lands office until the file was found. It was not a pleasant experience.
But now the ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Planning has undergone a few changes in recent years, the operations in the ministry are being uploaded into an integrated system so as the land's details can be available to you on the stroke of a key. This process will minimise the number of hours someone would spend in the Land's offices waiting for the file to be found.
The Banking Hall at Ardhi house is open from 8am to 3.30pm with no break for lunch. The hall facilitates all the land transactions such as searches,payment of stamp duty and land rent and it’s fully automated. On entering the banking hall, you pick a ticket from the ticket dispenser according to the transaction needed which allows for faster service in the first come first served criteria.
The ministry is responsible for facilitating the payments of land rents and it has launched a way to find out the land rent owed on a particular land using individual's phone number. All you have to do is send an SMS with your lands location followed by the LR number and you get an SMS with the ownership details and the amount owed. This has reduced the number of people going to the lands office to ask for the demand notice letter.
The ministry is upholding its mandate to serve the land's owners and the general public in general as the Cabinet secretary said “We are all public servants, and as your servants, we can’t avoid serving you to your satisfaction’’. After all their Vision and Mission is Excellence in Land Management for sustainable development of Kenya and to facilitate improvement of livelihood of Kenyans through efficient administration, equitable access, secure tenure and sustainable management of the land resource.