What you need to know:
- Many people have seen their dreams of owning homes go up in smoke for lack of due diligence.
- Some government agencies and land companies have been found to have abetted deals in which people were duped
The rampant fraud in land and real estate transactions could be eradicated if a proposed law is passed and stringently enforced. Many people seeking to buy plots, houses or farmland often get conned out of their hard-earned money, hence the urgent need for such legislation.
Thousands of would-be investors have lost millions of shillings to fraudsters in dubious land and house selling schemes. Many cases are pending in court, while others have been concluded and the culprits convicted and jailed, but the victims have not been compensated for the losses.
In most cases, the deals look so good and inviting that would-be buyers throw all caution to the wind, only to regret later and when it is too late to corner the crooks and recover the money. In some, it is for non-existent land or pieces with ownership disputes or fake titles. The dream of ceasing to be a tenant and becoming a homeowner is one that has driven many into schemes that just wiped out their lifetime savings topped up with bank or cooperative society loans.
Many people have seen their dreams of owning homes go up in smoke for lack of due diligence. For houses, the crooks often collect a deposit, only for the prospective owners to realise many months later that there is nothing going on or that they were sold air. There have been many supposedly posh real estate projects that were never completed after unsuspecting buyers had parted with deposits.
The court process takes too long for compensation. Some government agencies and land companies have been found to have abetted deals in which people were duped into purchasing and building homes on public land, such as the piece set aside for a flight path to the JKIA in Nairobi.
Trans Nzoia Senator Allan Chesang has sponsored a Bill to rein in rogue real estate developers in the Sh100 billion industry. If passed, it will require the registration of real estate projects, ring-fence payments by investors to ensure the completion of projects, and guarantee the rights of purchasers.