Today, many countries in the world are stepping towards digitization of land records and title deeds. This scientific way of record keeping provides easy access to the county’s land record management system and facilitates efficient preservation of the records.
The Kenyan Government for instance, is working on issuing 3 million title deeds (in digital format) over the next three years, according to a recent report. The process will take a while to complete and once implemented, the system can effectively tackle the issues of fake title deeds. The project will be a relief for Kenyans as many of them have waited for many years to receive title deeds and use their land. Moreover, it is part of the government land reform efforts to ensure that no politician can embezzle or use public land for personal gain.
Benefits of Digitizing Title Deeds
The Lands ministry lists a number of advantages connected with digitizing title deeds or land records.
- Electronic issuing of title deeds and land records, accompanied by improved management and advanced technology will ensure effective and efficient services to Kenyans.
- Increased transparency and speed in land transactions.
- Will lessen the number of days taken to register property and other land transactions.
- Growth and development of the country’s economic system.
- Will reduce bureaucracy and corruption resulting from complicated processes.
- No one will be allowed to put government land to personal use.
- Will ensure easy auditing of land transactions and interrogation of corrupt processes.
- Digital conversion of land registers has reduced the turnaround time in the registration of property from 73 days to 16 days.
Procedure of Digitization of Land Records
Digital conversion of land records to make them available for public access, usually includes the following stages.
- Document scanning of physical land registers / microfilms
- Indexing the scanned records
- Capturing grantor and grantee details, document-id, and legal description of the properties from the numerical index books
- Linking the documents based on reception index and legal index
- Designing a website to host the land record information for public access
The effort of the Kenyan government is likely to reflect comparatively in the real estate industry, as investors and land owners will find it more interesting to engage in real estate businesses. The real estate industry is expected to show an upward growth, in terms of market share and revenues, with landowners and other key players becoming more engaged in the market. With digitization of title deeds and land repositories, the survey work has become more efficient and thereby inheriting and transferring land ownership has become easier.