Land Buyers Losing Millions to Con Artists- Here are the Tricks

By Virginia Mwangi / October 3, 2018 | 9:12 am



idle land

Kenya is at the mercy of well-organized cartels that enjoy protection from influential Government officials and the real estate sector has not been saved from the greed of these individuals.

Various sectors lose billions to these faceless unpatriotic people we cowardly choose to call cartels and that we all know are somehow under the leadership of our politicians.

The real estate sector has not been saved from the greed of these cartels as they have largely dominated buying of land in the country conning Kenyans of their lifetime savings which have led to suicidal cases and depression among the victims. The victims are mostly residents of Nairobi who form self-help groups and Sacco’s to buy land and embark on a mission to own a home of their own or just invest to later sell at a profit.

Buying land in counties such as Kajiado and Nairobi requires one to be extra cautious as land con artists dominate the market in the County. It is important to ensure that you get a search as a buyer, NEVER rely on the one provided by the seller. Contract a lawyer, double check every detail from researching on previous owners of the property and if your sixth sense does not agree to the transaction, then it’s a no. We focus on how the cartels operate to swindle you your property and how you could safeguard that piece of land.

The Squatter Trick

This always comprises aged locals, a number of families with young children and a few youths who occupy any land that is not under development and claim to be squatters.

They set camps with claims not have any other place to live with conditions of 25 percent of the land value from the legal owners. Cartels organize and finance such groups that will either claim to have lived on the piece of land for decades or cite historical land injustice to justify themselves.

“It’s a crime for an individual or a group to invade the private land and demand 25 percent of the land. This is conmanship of the highest order. My office is profiling some of the known suspects to face the full wrath of the law, ’Kajiado West deputy County Commissioner William Ngochila remarked after five land buying companies and individuals lodged complaints after being faced with the squatter trick that could see them ripped off millions of shillings if justice is not served.

Fraudulent land brokers

They are sly and greedy and will go to unimaginable lengths to get you paying for land that is not even on sale!

They are in cartels that have connections with people in the ministry of lands and are able to forge land documents from the title deed, land certificate to search certificate. It is hence advisable to contact a lawyer who can verify the documents presented to you if you have no background information on the matter.

The con land brokers also use vigilante youths to keep away landowners after the land is fully paid for and the owner seeks to develop the property. This prompts negotiations where the owners end up getting ripped a value percentage of the property in form of money.

Illegal Demand of Land Whose Lease has expired

The cartel operates amongst corrupt business individuals who are protected by corrupt government officials at the Ministry of Lands and the Nairobi City County.

This has mostly affected the Asian community living in Parklands, Westlands and other affluent parts of the city.

The purchasers of the properties leased it in the 1900’s and are therefore not the current occupants but the descendants and the 99-year lease of the property is expiring yet no notice is given to current occupants.

In collusion with corrupt officials at the Lands ministry and the City County, the cartels are able to tell the lease that has expired or is about to and therefore embarks on viciously claiming the land.

Once a lease is expired, the owner loses legal claim and this when the cartel comes in and invites interested property clients to view through publishing small notices in the dailies.

The victims often miss the notice and the cartel continues to pay for the conveyance charge which is between 1250 shillings and 5000 shillings. Paying the conveyance charge enables the cons to illegally claim the prime property worth ranging from millions to billions of shillings. People living in these places should, therefore, be keen and look out for the dates their lease expires to understand options available for them.







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