Looking to book tourists on Airbnb? Careful, the Tourism Regulatory Authority in Kenya is watching

Under the Kenyan Tourism Act No. 28 of 2011, no person is permitted to carry out tourism activities or services in the country without a licence. The applicable tourism activities and services are listed in the Ninth Schedule of the Act and are categorized into Classes “A” to “H” Enterprises.

The application for licensing is required to be made to the Tourism Regulatory Authority in Kenya using a prescribed form which can be downloaded from the Authority’s website. The licence granted is an annual licence which must be renewed every year. There is also supporting documentation that will need to be submitted together with the application depending on the person, entity or business seeking licensing.

Short term rentals and accommodation targeted at tourists fall under Class “A” Enterprises which includes hotels, motels, inns, hostels, serviced flats and apartments, beach and holiday cottages, villas, homestays, guest houses and time shares.

Continue reading “Looking to book tourists on Airbnb? Careful, the Tourism Regulatory Authority in Kenya is watching”

Foreigners’ Ownership of Real Estate in Kenya


Many foreigners have been duped that they cannot own land in their name in Kenya. This notion is untrue since foreigners are permitted to own land within the Republic of Kenya. However, this ownership is subject to certain pre-qualifications and conditions.

In Hanny Hartmann v. Edward Mganga Mbogo (Civil Case 222 of 2007), Marga Grounstra v. Baya Abraham Wanje (Civil Case No. 284 of 2007) and many other similar cases, more so in relation to coastal properties, foreigners enter into all manner of agreements and arrangements with locals with a view of the locals purchasing properties on their behalf. This is usually based on the alleged representation that a foreigner cannot own land in their name. Such partnerships between locals and foreigners usually turn sour and should be approached with caution.

Accordingly, before a foreigner purchases land or a house in Kenya, proper research should be done through the help of a qualified legal professional to advice and structure a legally sound transaction. Continue reading “Foreigners’ Ownership of Real Estate in Kenya”