You may have lost documents including your original tittle deeds and you may have spent sleepless nights over the loss. Your worry is that someone may transfer the tittle to his or her name before selling it off to unsuspecting third parties. You also imagine that a fraudster may fake your national identity card and use it with the tittle deed to apply for a bank loan.

There are legal steps that you can take to protect your legal ownership or get a duplicate tittle deed from lands ministry:

As a starting point, it is important to report the loss to the nearest police station and obtain a police abstract.

However, it would be easier to seek the services of a dully registered lawyer who will move fast to protect your property from illegal transactions by placing a caveat/caution at the ministry of Lands.

The caveat is to ensure that any fraudster who may come across the lost documents cannot undertake transactions of the property.

The lawyer will also assist in several other processes including filing required legal documents like a statutory declaration before presenting to the registrar.

The declaration Forms, which detail how the documents were lost or destroyed, must be completed by the registered plot owner (You).

If the registrar is satisfied with the evidence proving the loss of the original documents, he or she will publish your name in the Kenya Gazette.

Your name will also be published in two mainstream newspapers with national circulation before you are issued with duplicate tittle deeds or certificates of lease after 60 days.

It is worth repeating that no magic is required to prove loss of a tittle deed or certificate of lease other than reporting to the police and acquiring an abstract.

The other details to be included in the affidavit or a statutory declaration detailing when the document was lost would be the circumstances, searches and efforts made to find them. A fee is paid to the government printer for publishing the notice of the loss in the Kenya Gazette.

And in cases where a lost tittle deed or certificate of lease is found, it should be delivered to the registrar for cancellation.

However, the registrar also has powers to reinstate any lost or destroyed document in the land registrar after making inquiries and issue a 60 day notice in the Kenya Gazette.

Written by Harold-Ayodo