Why You Need A Land Surveyor


If you own land, want to own it or already own it, you might need a Land surveyor. Here Mr Mwathane speaks about what a land surveyor does and whether or not you need one.

Mr Ibrahim Mwathane  is a consultant in Surveying and Land Information Management and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Surveying and Photogrammetry from the University of Nairobi and a Masters degree in Cadastre and Land Information Management from the Polytechnic of East London. Mr Mwathane has had extensive experience in the public sector where he served for 13 years as a field surveyor, quality control officer and a district and provincial office manager. While in the private sector, Mr Mwathane has been involved in consultancy work in surveying and land reform. He has provided advocacy and technical support to Kenya’s land policy formulation process and the continental land policy process.


When do you need a Land Surveyor

1. When purchasing land that hasn’t been subdivided

2. To find out if the land being sold is the correct land and of the correct size

3. Confirm the boundaries are the ones in the land map. Reestablish the boundaries of the land

4. To ascertain the owner of the land


When you have been sold land that doesn’t match the agreed size

1. Sort it with the person who sold it

2. Call in witnesses to mediate

3. Or use Formal Processes,

  • you can use a surveyor who confirm the details
  • register the complaint with the registrar of lands who will call in a government surveyor


Where to get a genuine land surveyor

1. Land Survey Board at Ardhi Hse 10th floor

2. Institution of Surveyor’s of Kenya at Reinsurance Plaza in Nai

3. Survey of Kenya (all over the country)


Maps to property

1. Director of Surveys Office at Ruaraka (for urban centres)- Need an LR number and they can find the index

2. In each provincial headquaters or districts (General maps for rural areas) – might change with devolution


Purpose of a Land Surveyor

1. To have 2 titles to your land

2. You’re buying a piece of land

3. You want to divide land for your children

4. You want to confirm the size of your land


Requirements for you to carry out a land survey

1. Approval from the registered owner or legitimate authority

2. Approval from the Land Control Board (Agriculture), local authority (leased land) or commission of lands (land leased from the government)

3. Surveyor should have sufficient survey information – maps duly approved by director of survey and recognized as legitimate for title survey

4. Have the neighbours present during the time of survey to avoid disputes


How much does a Survey cost?

– vary from KSh. 3,000 to 100,000 depend on number of parcels from a subdivision and type of approval system you’ll run.

– 3% of the property value

– Formular on how much your land survey should cost is provided by the Survey Act Chapter 299


Advantages of a Survey:

– No title deed is issued without a survey


Procedure between Surveying land and Receiving the new Title Deed(s)

1. Surveyor comes and surveys the land and compiles the data in a Mutation Survey Document, (The Mutation Survey Document supports the title if it’s endorsed by a licensed surveyor or government surveyor).

2. If by a licensed surveyor, then it should include a Letter of endorsement from the property owner to show that it was carried out to the owner’s satisfaction

3. Surveyor presents the documents to the district survey office or to the director of survey (if you’re in Nairobi).

4. The documents are reviewed and the property is issued with new numbers

5. The documents with the new numbers plus a request from the property owner for new title deeds are sent to the District Land Registrar to get new title deeds

For high accuracy property (urban centres or areas like Tigoni, Kiambu)

A mathematical calculation of the new dimensions plus a plan of the new boundaries would be presented to the Director of survey, who confirms if the info is correct then gives the licenced surveyor the go ahead to either prepare a registry index map or a audit plan which are given to the registrar of lands


How Long does the Survey Process Take?

In rural areas: a few hours

District Survey Office: 15mins – 3hrs

Lands Office: A few days

In urban areas: 6months


In cases where your property falls in two counties, then you as the property owner chooses which county to belong to.


If you prefer to watch and listen instead of read, below is the interview:

Share with friends: