A court has ordered a real estate company to refund a total of Sh1.5 million to a client for misleading information and breaching an agreement on the sale of land in Juja, Kiambu County.
Lesedi Developers Limited, whose main operations are in Thika, Kiambu, was sued in October last year by Ryan Marvin Karanja, who sought a full refund, interest and the cost of the lawsuit after Lesedi breached a contract under which he bought a parcel of land.
The company allegedly sold the same land to another client at double the price though Mr Karanja had paid in full for the same property.
Mr Karanja had approached Lesedi Developers to purchase plot number 153, hived off from land reference number 17558, through a written agreement. The land measures 50 by 100 feet.
Lesedi Developers is owned by Geoffrey Kiragu, its founder and managing director.
Under the agreement, he paid Sh1.5 million to Lesedi Developers but the company failed to transfer the property to him. He later learned that the land had also been sold to another person, prompting him to sue.
Thika Senior Resident Magistrate O. Wanyaga ruled that Lesedi Developers had breached the sale agreement. “[The defendant] is ordered to refund the purchase price of Sh1.5 million to the plaintiff,” he said.
Mr Karanja was also awarded the costs of the lawsuit and interest from the date he filed the case.
This was not the first such case involving Lesedi Developers.
Last year, Dennis Kikuvi and his wife, Bernadette Wanjiru Kamau, bought land allegedly measuring 40 by 80 feet from the company in Juja for Sh600,000.
The couple hoped to settle on the land with their young family.
But before starting to build a permanent residential house, they approached a planner to see whether their house design would fit the land.
The planner told Mr Kikuvi that the couple had been duped and that the actual size of the land was 40 by 60 feet.
Mr Kikuvi's woes worsened when, weeks later, he visited the land and found another buyer, identified as Ms Maureen Wanjiru, developing the land and claiming it had also been sold to her.
Frustrated, Mr Kikuvi asked his lawyer to ask for a full refund after Lesedi Developers suggested that they would deduct 20 percent from the Sh600,000 he had paid for the land.
The lawyer wrote to the Lesedi Developers CEO last year.
“It is our clients’ view that the contract was based on fraud and misrepresentation from your end hence the same is nullity,” the demand letter said.
“Our clients have now instructed us to write to you and demand your immediate return of the entire purchase price and our collection fees of Sh30,000.”
Under pressure, Lesedi Developers recently refunded the couple Sh600,000 after a long row.
Lesedi Developers is also embroiled in similar disputes with other customers in the Thika Environment and Land Court.