Real Estate Stakeholders form umbrella body to tackle fraud in Kenyan property business
Real Estate stakeholders in the country have formed an umbrella body that will bring sanity into the land and property business. The sector has in the past faced serious challenges including incidences where Kenyans have been conned money in the disguise of purchasing land.
The Association of Real Estate Stakeholders met in Kilifi town where they were on a recruitment drive aimed at recruiting and listing at least 2,000 land-buying companies in the country.
Kinywa Wairatu who is the association chairman and a director of Maono lands limited, said that many Kenyans had been robbed of their hard-earned money by fraudsters masquerading as land-selling agents hence the need to have all players registered. He said that the association currently has 500 land-buying and property companies as members and that they will treat those plying their trade from outside as aliens.
“We have listened to Kenyans and many people are afraid of investing in land and property because of fraudsters and that is why we have come up with the association to cushion Kenyans from being robbed of their land and also to restore their confidence in land buying companies,” he said.
He called on Kenyans to observe due diligence when looking for property by checking if the company they are dealing with are registered with the Association of Real Estate Stakeholders. His sentiments were echoed by Esther Mumo, a director of Malindi Shamba Solutions Limited who said that many people had been duped and had nowhere to run to since most business people involved in the land and property sector were fraudsters.
“I am very happy that at last, we have an association that will help us track rogue players who soil the name of genuine business people,” she said.
Fred Thairu, the spokesperson of the association recommended the government to all companies dealing in land and property to pay taxes so that the playing field can be streamlined.
“For a long time we have been branded as con people but as an association, we have a department that will be dealing with complaints from members of the public so that we can take action, the same way lawyers have the Law Society of Kenya and the Media Council of Kenya that regulates their professions,” he said.
He added that the sector was so saturated to the extent of fraudsters opening and closing companies at will after conning people.