Sectional Properties Act to support Affordable Housing agenda – CS Karoney
Published on: September 02, 2021 09:00 (EAT)
Lands and Physical Planning Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney has said the actualisation of the Sectional Properties Act, 2020, will support the affordable housing programme being undertaken by the government under the Big Four agenda. Speaking during a meeting with the Parliamentary Committee on Delegated Legislation in Mombasa, CS Karoney said the Law will ensure the interests and rights of owners of parts of a building or units are determined, registered and secured. “SPA provides for division of buildings into units to be owned by individual proprietors and the common property to be proportionately owned by respective proprietors as tenants in common. In essence, this Act supplements the Land Registration Act, 2012, by ensuring that interests of those who own part of a building or units are well determined and registered,” said CS Karoney. Affordable housing is one of the pillar programmes being undertaken by President Uhuru Kenyatta, others being Universal Health Care, Manufacturing, and Food Security. Under the programme, the government seeks to build 500,000 housing units by 2022 to address the issues of housing in Kenya’s urban and peri-urban regions. To encourage partnership with private developers in the realisation of this agenda, the government has also provided incentives such as tax rebates and infrastructure cost subsidies. The actualisation of SPA, 2020, marks a departure from the repealed Sectional Properties Act, 1987, thus aligning the sector with the provisions of the 2010 Constitution and the Land Registration Act, 2012. According to the CS Farida Karoney, the SPA, 2020, is one of the most progressive pieces of legislation in Kenya today and its operationalisation will boost the confidence of investors, buyers and property owners and spur the growth of the housing sector. “One key feature of the SPA is that it seeks to confer full ownership rights to owners without allowing developers to retain any interest, including reversionary interest in respect of the mother title, by making sure that the mother title is closed on registration of a sectional plan. Additionally, SPA guarantees the unit owners right to transact in their property since the requirement to seek consents from third parties is minimised. “Purchasers of units on a mortgage or charge will also get full discharge as opposed to the past where a unit owner purchasing his or her property on loan under a mortgage scheme could get a partial discharge. Unit owners are therefore treated individually and not corporately as happened in the past,” stated CS Karoney. During the meeting, the Cabinet Secretary tabled, before the committee, Draft Regulations report, which she termed as a by-product of extensive engagements and consultations between members of the a special taskforce composed of stakeholders from both the public and private sector. “The Regulations are a product of a rigorous process that has captured the concerns of a wide spectrum of stakeholders, including carrying out a Regulatory Impact Assessment process in respect of which we have prepared the Regulatory Impact Statement,” stated CS Karoney. The regulations are necessary for the actualisation of the Sectional Properties Act, 2020, which was signed into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta on December 15, 2020. The Parliamentary Committee will now have an opportunity to review the document, submit their input for consideration, before a final draft is tabled before Parliament for debate.