It is a Kenyan dream to own a family home. Some prefer to have it close to the city, or at least close to where they work. Others simply want a home away from the busy city life where they can spend the golden days with peace and serenity. Whether you are in the first or second group, we can all agree that the process of building a home is not easy. It is very costly, time-consuming, and stressful…especially if it is your first time. But even before you start building, identifying a piece of land you wish to build on (if you don’t have one already) and paying for it is another strenuous task. This is why it hurts deeply when after all that effort, you find yourself in the above situation when it rains.
We would like to tell you that this is the only problem you could face as a new landowner. But it’s not. There are other legal problems that are just as painful. By the time you are done reading this, you will know the FIVE things causing new landowners sleepless nights and how to avoid them.
In our legal profession, we have seen many bad things happen to good, innocent, and hardworking Kenyans who only wanted to acquire a good piece of land to build a home or rental property. This is why we will always insist you do thorough due diligence to avoid losing your money to a fraudulent deal. The case of flooding land is sometimes tricky to assess because it can happen out of natural and unforeseen causes. In most cases, however, the seller fails to disclose this information so they can make the sale. In the due diligence process, there is a clause that requires the land seller to disclose any defect on the piece of land before the final transactions. This is why you should be well-versed in the due diligence process. If you did not get an opportunity to engage with our previous article on due diligence, click here and get informed.
As I mentioned earlier, flooding land is NOT the only problem that can make you regret your investment decision as a new landowner. We have five more legal issues that you be cautious of when buying land or any other property. By getting acquainted with this, you will be better than 80% of Kenyan land buyers who are most likely to fall victim to the same.
The five legal issues you need to watch out for…
This is the most obvious thing to check, but also what many people miss. Some properties contain fines, accumulated land rates, and other arrears that were not settled, which you inherit as the new land owner. In some cases, it may be more than what was paid for when purchasing the property.
This is one of the least known laws by the general public regarding land. It’s not always the case that when you buy land, you can do anything you want with it. Some places are designated for commercial purposes, others for agriculture, and most for residential houses.
A caution is a notice registered by a person that restricts any dealings regarding the land without their consent. It may be a money lender holding land as collateral, a partner with a shares on the land, the authorities because of a pending court case, and many other scenarios…
Easements are laws that allow other people access to your property without your permission. For example, an easement law may allow people to use your land as a shortcut to get to another destination. This may limit your privacy, especially if you want to build your residential home.
This is an instrument that shows details of any mortgages or restrictions on the use of the land or rights someone else has over the land. For example, when a landowner uses her title deed to acquire a loan from a bank, the bank registers a charge. The worst-case scenario is that the bank could repossess your land if you cannot pay the loan.
How to avoid Fraudsters
We do not need to tell you that the land transaction business is full of people with evil motives. And they are everywhere, even among those who should be protecting you against these criminals. But these people rely on one thing alone. This one thing makes it easy for them to con you. If you know it, then you can never be their victim. These criminals have good knowledge of the law, which makes it easy to twist so they can effortlessly benefit from your hard-earned money. This is why it is always advisable to have a legal guide when buying land. It should be seasoned professional with many years of experience. Someone familiar with the terrain and knows what to look for and where to look for it.
Additionally, you should consider the following as safeguards before making the final payment:
• If the deal is too good, be extra cautious!
• Avoid paying money to individuals’ i.e agents, brokers. Make sure you deposit the funds directly to a seller firm if reputable, or a credible law firm as a custodian
• If using a lawyer, check if he/she has any disciplinary action taken against them before entrusting the with the funds
• Make sure the firm or lawyer you choose uses the LSK’s conditions of sale 1989 & 2015 edition…you can never go wrong with this.
We are not better than other law firms who do the same. We have access to the same knowledge, data, and even the level of access provided by the government. But with our many years of experience in the land transactions business, we have learnt two important things. In every marketplace, there are two sets of rules governing the way of doing business. There are written rules which are clearly stipulated by the governing authorities. Then there are the unwritten rules dictated by the marketplace…and sometimes these are the most important to know if you want the job done promptly and efficiently. It is our knowledge of the inner workings of the land and properties business that makes us exceptional and able to deliver to our clients in the shortest time possible.
If you are planning to buy land soon or are in the process of buying, then you can trust in our ability to help you get exactly what you have been promised. We have helped many and continue to do so successfully for companies and individuals alike. You, too, can benefit from our services and secure your investment. It is very easy. All you need to do is contact any of our branches near you. The call will be non-obligatory and with no consultation charge. We will then assess your case and advise you further.
Click here and get in touch with a branch near you. Thank you for taking the time to read through.
comment Joseph Cherop saysMay 14, 2023 at 12:58 pm
Very helpful information, thank you so very much