When one needs to extend or renew a land lease an application is first lodged at the relevant County Government office within which the land is located. This means that the County Land Management Boards (CLMB) of the NLC will play a vital role. Before the same is approved the application is considered by the sections dealing with public health, roads, rates, water and sewerage among others.
The departments of Survey and Physical Planning in the National government are also consulted before the approval is granted by the County Land Management Boards, now operational in 44 Counties.
The NLC then implements the approval by preparing a new lease for the lessee. The new lease will bear the new extended term and an enhanced annual rent after re-valuation by a government valuer. Approval fees for renewal/extension of lease is Kshs 5000/= paid by the lessee.
In cases of extension of lease the lessee will surrender the existing title and on payment of the required legal fees a new lease/title will be prepared in his/her favour. In cases of renewal of lease a letter of allotment is issued and on payment of the legal fees stipulated in the letter a new lease/title is prepared for the lessee.The new lease is then registered by the relevant Land Registry under the Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development.
It is advisable to apply for extension of lease before the term expires to avoid a scenario where property ownership hangs in limbo as in the case when the lease expires and thus reverts to the lessor until that time when the lessor will approve the renewal of lease.
Likewise the lessee must always read and implement conditions stipulated in the lease to ensure compliance and reduce chances of denial of extension/renewal of lease due to breach of contract.
Statutory fees like annual rent and rates should always be paid on time to avoid penalties and comply with set conditions. Remember the lessor reserves the right to grant an extension/renewal of lease and compliance to conditions imposed by the lessor enhances chances of the extension/renewal of term.
In practice the government as a lessor has always been fair to lessees and extension/renewal is usually granted if conditions of the previous lease were adhered to and the land is not required for a public purpose.