The state (through the devolved units of Government) has the absolute powers to control how land is used in Kenya. These powers are donated and subject to the provisions of the Physical and Land Use Planning Act together with its regulations. The rationale behind the control of use of land by county government is to ensure that development on private land does not contravene the overall plan set aside by each county government. The control is also aimed at ensuring that county governments collet revenue from properties with commercial use in the form of Land Rates.

In achieving this, there are three main Users of land for privately owned land:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Residential
  3. Commercial

For this reason, any owner of land (Leasehold and Freehold) is required under the Act to make an application for change of user should they desire to apply the property in a manner that is not contemplated on the use of the property under the Certificate of Title and the Master Plan.


Before one can obtain a Change of User Approval in land, there are procedures prescribed under the Physical Planning Regulations. The application more often than not is made simultaneously with the application for permit to construct. In this section we shall break down the steps and demystify the process under the Regulations.

  • STEP 1 – Placing of an advertisement seeking the public’s opinion on the proposed change of user.
  • STEP 2 – The land owner shall approach a registered physical planner who shall prepare and submit an application for change of user by filling, signing and submitting the prescribed form, PPA-1 to the relevant county government office responsible for planning and land use.
  • STEP 3 – The Land owner shall then cause to be published notices of intention to change user in two daily newspapers of nation- wide circulation. A notice on the proposed change of user shall also be placed on the site in the prescribed form.
  • STEP 4 – The next step involves the preparation of Planning Report by the Physical Planner which describes the framework for collecting information about the property and interrogates the interests in the property. The Planning Report further explains the conformity of the proposed use of land to County and National Land use Policy and the sustainability of the change to the subject property and neighbouring parcels of land.
  • STEP 5 – Payment of requisite fees and submission of the Planning Report to relevant County Government Physical Planning Department.
  • STEP 6 – County Government Department of Physical Planning and Land Use review shall then take comments from the public on the change of user and make a deliberation on whether to approve or reject the application based on the Planning Report submitted to it.
  • STEP 7 – Once the County Planning Office finds that the proposed changes are in line with the physical Planning Policies of the County and the National Government, it shall issue its permit through PPA 2 Form.


What do you need for the Conversion Process?

  • Two dully filled P.P.A 1 forms in triplicate submitted and signed by a registered physical


  • Planning Brief prepared by a Registered Physical Planner (signed accordingly);
  • Ownership documents (Title Deeds);
  • Comprehensive Location Plan;
  • Advertisement of proposal on: a) Two local dailies, b) On site;
  • Application fee receipt; and
  • Latest Rates payment receipts.

Parting Shot

At Optiven Limited we endeavor to ensure that our clients acquire the best titles available for the particular properties they purchase from us. In doing so, processing of titles becomes more predictable and user friendly.

We urge our clients with the old titles to ensure that their titles have been converted in compliance with government directive. The process will also guarantee the title holder ease of registration in future transactions in the land.


The content of this document is intended to be of general use only. For specific legal advice on Optiven Limited Real Estate Investments please do not hesitate to contact us through the contact details contained below.

Telephone: +254 790 300300