Is it Okay to Laminate a Title Deed? Advise on how to Safeguard Document

 Is it Okay to Laminate a Title Deed? Advise on how to Safeguard DocumentHello Reuben,

Last weekend, I collected my title deed for a property in Nakuru that I bought from Username Investments. This being my first investment, I have spent the better part of the week wondering how best to store this title deed. Can I laminate it? Please advise on the best ways to safeguard this document. My second worry is how do I confirm if it is genuine?

Jackie Mwanza, Nairobi

Congratulations Jackie on your first investment in Nakuru City! At least you overcame the fear that grapples first-time investors and is glad you now have a title deed. Having a property in Nakuru after the municipality was elevated to a city is strategic and you are set to have numerous benefits as the city takes shape. Nakuru real estate market is growing exponentially and you have the right choice in terms of location. Secondly, thank you for choosing to invest with Username Investments, we are happy to have fulfilled your first investment with us.

Your questions are valid and many investors have asked similar questions in other forums.  Even Kenyans living in the diaspora who are investing in properties in Kenya raise similar questions when their title deed is ready for collection.

You are not alone. When I bought my first property in Ngong, I kept researching on how to avoid being conned even when I had made the commitment through a down payment. I could count days to ensure I get my title deed also. Finally, my first title deed came and I must say a called my friends we go collect the title deed together and celebrate this milestone. It was fulfilling to see a title deed under my name. One of my friends who is a conveyance lawyer gave me solid advice on how to handle a title deed after receiving it. I have since used this advice in all properties that I buy.

To begin with, it is okay to feel the need to protect this important document at all costs. We all value something we have made sacrifices for. However, it is not advisable to laminate a title deed. Whereas lamination protects documents from damage from fluids, dirt increases life span, and improves the overall appearance, a title deed is slightly different.

It is important to note that you might need to use this title deed in the future. Some of the ways you can use it are collateral for a loan, security for a court bond, security for the hospital bill, proof of ownership in case of disputes, placing a caveat, seeking building approvals, or even selling the land in the future. In most of these uses, the record, claims and encumbrances are recorded on the 3rd page of the title deed. When you laminate, the document cannot allow for any more records to be written on it.

Instead of laminating, you can first have a scan of the four-page document and store it in Google Drive. This will help you for reference and just in case you misplace it you have a copy that you can use to replace the lost or damaged title deed. After this, you can explore these three options for safeguarding it. The first option is safekeeping services by a financial institution, this is where you pay a fee depending on the institution and they store it for you safely. The second option is in the custody of a lawyer and lastly storing it in a high-quality fireproof document safe in your house.

Your second concern is on how to know whether the title deed is genuine. Just to mention, as Username Investments, all our properties in Kenya have genuine title deeds and we follow the legal procedure of transferring them to our clients from valuation, payment of stamp duty, land mutation etc.  However, as an investor, you need the assurance that the document is genuine. Truth be told, you cannot differentiate a fake and an original by just looking at it.

The most effective way to confirm whether the title deed is genuine is to do a search at the Land’s Registry. Unfortunately, your property is in Nakuru meaning you will have to do a manual search in Nakuru Registry because the registry is yet to be digitized. However, if you were in Nairobi, you could have just done an online search via Ardhisasa platform.

Do you have a question in relation to property ownership in Kenya? You can direct them to Reuben Kimani the Chief Executive Officer of Username Investment Ltd.

 

Is it Okay to Laminate a Title Deed? Advise on how to Safeguard Document

Comment on the article

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

%d bloggers like this: