WAKEUP CALL: LEGAL PROPERTY OWNERSHIP

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Property being demolished Photo:omnidemolition.com Photo:omnidemolition.com

The last five days have seen the quiet landscapes of Machakos County being disrupted by the relentless roar of bulldozers. These mechanical giants have been busy demolishing properties, sparking a whirlwind of emotions. 

Wangare, a 35 year old has struggled over a span of five years to save her hard earned money in order to build herself some rental properties after also securing another Kshs. 5 million loan from a local bank, now lies desperate after she became a victim and her property ravaged. 

The dramatic turn of events in Mavoko, Machakos county, has ignited a fervent debate surrounding law and justice, underscoring the crucial need to delve into the intricate web of property ownership laws in Kenya. More than 50 other property owners have ended up suffering like Wangare, because they procured the properties from dubious land brokers, who duped and sold them land parcels that legally belonged to the East Africa Portland Cement (EAPC) PLC

EAPC had filed a case over the parcel of land that has been in court for the last 10 years. The question is, how did the property buyers proceed to procure the parcels without proper verification and certification? The Machakos High Court on Monday, 09 October 2023, declared EAPC the legitimate owner of the land LR NO. 10424.

This may not be the first nor the last land scandal that has befell Kenyans. Beware. In order to avoid becoming prey to the undying dubious brokers, ensure that you do not purchase land that is riparian. Back in 2018, the Southern Mall, opposite T-mall, along Langata Road, was demolished because it was constructed on a riverbed. This incident serves as a stark reminder of the significance of adhering to land use regulations, particularly when it comes to riparian land. If you plan to build near a water body, ensure that you are well-versed with local laws and regulations.

Buildings that are constructed irregularly and do not comply with land laws and policies are at high risk of being demolished. To protect your investment, it is essential to hire experienced professionals, such as architects and engineers, who can ensure that your construction complies with all relevant building codes and land regulations.

According to Section 26 of the Land Registration Act, “a certificate of title shall be held as conclusive evidence of proprietorship.” This means that if you do not possess a valid certificate of title, proving that you are the rightful owner of the land you occupy, you are at risk of losing the property. Therefore, always ensure that the property has a clear and legal title deed, and make sure to keep it safe.

The desire to earn the title “landowner” is a common aspiration for many. However, it is crucial to avoid shortcuts and follow the lawful procedures outlined in the land and property ownership regulations Act. By doing so, you can protect your investment, avoid future heartaches, and ensure that your property remains secure.

Understanding and respecting the law is not only essential for a just and orderly society but also for the preservation of your hard-earned assets. By adhering to land laws, building regulations, and having proper documentation, you can confidently pursue your dream of property ownership while minimizing the risk of future losses. 

Remember, the law is not an obstacle but a shield that can protect your investments and secure your future.

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