Are all title deeds clean and genuine?
Probably as important as the title deed is the validity of the title. Contrary to popular belief, title deed does not always confer property ownership. A title deed is as good as the source and the process. Resultant title deed, from mutation of fake title deed,shall invariably bespurious.Title deed illegally acquired will perpetually be illegal, numerous transfers NOT withstanding. Transfers/ transmissions do not clean the illegality. Take time to investigate the history of the land where the plots being sold stand. Particularly confirm plots are not on land dispute/court process, grabbed land, road reserve,and does not appear on Ndungu land report e.t.c. SOME TITLES HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFULLY CHALLENGED IN COURT.
What is due land buyer due diligence?
There have been incidences where;
- Fake title deed, identity cards, pin certificates and photos have been used to fraudulently fleece potential clients’ money.
- Genuine documents, either stolen or in the hands of untrustworthy persons (particularly close relatives and friends of aging or incapacitated persons) have with help of an impostor been used to defraud unsuspecting clients.
- Not with standing registration, confirms the vendor has authority to sell particularly for matrimonial property.
- Due diligence search of the person including identity card search is prudent. Avoid emotional appeal from friends and relative, which have been used by fraudsters to build false confidence.
What is land sold by way of Certificate of Ownership?
Share certificates, deed-plans, survey-plans, or letters of allotment are NOT recognised legal proof of ownership. Sell of non-titled plots have become very common particularly in semi-urban areas with individuals/land buying companies subdividing and issuing certificates of ownership. Ensure the plot/land you are interested in has a genuine title deed. Below are some reasons to avoid this kind of arrangement;
- Share certificate are NOT recognised legal documents and therefore NOT proof of ownership
- Share certificates are prone to fraud with high incidences of multiple allocations from the vendors. Imposters also take advantage of lack of regulatory framework on non-titled plots to defraud potential customers.
- Most of the plots sold by way of certificate DO NOT meet the minimum government requirement for subdivision in terms of minimum size, provisions access roads and social amenities.
- Certain plots sold with issuance of certificate of ownership are on sub-divided land whose ownership is subject of bank charge, disputed ownership or illegally acquired land predisposing potential plot buyers to lengthy legal processes and possible loss of property.
- Property developers cannot access credit using the share certificates and when they eventually develop the property, few clients are willing to purchase bearing in mind their inability to also access loan/mortgage.