Say you take half a glass of hot water, follow it up with a glass of warm milk, gobble it up all together, then take like three tablespoons of sugar, munch it up and gobble it down, then take a teabag and choke it all down, then when everything is in your stomach, you jump up and down to mix the ingredients in your stomach. Is that the equivalent of taking a cup of tea? I’m guessing your answer is NO.
The same way goes when doing your due diligence before buying land in Kenya. Don’t go out there operating by the grace of the Lord only. If you can help it, don’t leave any stone unturned, because EVERY single detail counts, lest you be left holding a piece of paper in your hand, with your money long gone, and no land to call your own.
A recent piece of advice has been doing the rounds in Kenyan social media of late, and being the friendly real estate partner that we are, we took it upon ourselves to use our platforms to share it with our followers, clients and potential clients. We’ve added our input here and there, but the gist remains all the same. Here we go.
Every prime undeveloped land or land with old dilapidated building in the big towns has a story. Most likely a dispute, be it legal, family feud, administrative etc. When dealing with such pieces of land, always try to go deeper than the documentation.
First off, allotment letters are not necessarily bad, as most indicate that the location has not gone through the full land adjudication process, but always avoid allotment letters next to a government facility, (hint) this is probably grabbed land; or allotment letters in areas that are disputed. Examples are areas near Kenyatta University, Chokaa, Njiru.
Then there are troublesome counties to deal with, where if you are buying land you must pay extra caution. The worst seen are Machakos, Kajiado, Kiambu and Kwale. Independently, we can neither deny nor confirm these allegations.
Google maps are for free. Use Google Maps to check the location of the plot with respect to the surroundings. If the plot or the property scheme is let’s say surrounded by a forest or a government institution, then its likely grabbed, even though there are ‘genuine’ title deeds that come with it.
While at it, why not check the shape of the plot? If the shape is not regular, like a square, triangle or rectangle or its versions, then you probably need to dig deeper. The author claims to have seen star-shaped plots along Mombasa road!
Always talk to the other stakeholders. If the plot is near an airport talk to KAA. Your plot could be on a flight path. If near a KPLC wayleave, try and get the wayleave agreement. This also applies to pipeline wayleave. Also, railways and roads. If its near a water body talk to WARMA. You get the idea, right? Because these are important details that can affect your ability to develop your property in the future.
Finally, check who pays the rates at the county if it’s a municipality plot. If there is a difference between the title holder and the one paying the rates, consider this your cue to dig deeper. Even more important, check the owing for rates for a plot. For cities like Nairobi and Mombasa, there are cases where rates penalties exceed the value of the plot! If you buy a plot like that, then you are toast. Burnt toast.
Now we can consider ourselves wiser, so go ye forth and make sound real estate purchases. But don’t forget, Euro Trust Real Estate is your friendly real estate partner.