Many people have already lost or will loose millions worth of properties as a result of the Mavoko and Kirima Land Saga. It is a sad situation that no one would want to find themselves in. As a land lawyer, I will share 6 Lessons to take from these situation.

  1. Always Do a Historical Search on the Land that you intend to purchaseThe first thing you should do upon identifying the land you intend to buy, before you even spend your money on conducting a search, is to do a land visit, talk to the village elders, the chief and the neighbours to find out if there are any issues with the property. This are the people who have information like boundary disputes, the land having a case in court e.t.c. This is a very important step, and incase of any red flag please do not ignore it.
  2. Always do a search on the company/organisation selling the propertyThis is a step most people often skip and go straight to do a search on the title. It is important to check and confirm that the people selling you the land are actually legit. In the Mavoko saga, the society involved in selling most of the properties claimed to have received the title deed they had in 1980 but on doing a search at the registrar of societies they were actually registered in 2014. I hope through that you now see why doing a search on the company or organisation selling you the land is very important.
  3. Never Purchase a Property without a title deedAs a land lawyer, I never advice my clients to purchase a property that does not have a title deed. It is always very risky since it deters you from doing a lot of things like getting to do a search on the property at the land registry, placing a caution even getting financed by a bank. No bank can finance you when purchasing a property without a title deed.The most important thing you should ask yourself is why the seller has yet to get a title, because even if it has a certificate or a letter of allotment you are supposed to apply for a title deed and also remember even if you start the process yourself the title deed always comes under the name of the original holder of the certificate or letter of allotment.
  4. Always confirm any unpaid land rent/ratesRemember, no property can be transferred with pending unpaid land rent/rates. So confirming is a step you do not want to skip because you actually get to know if there is any arrears or if it is being paid, who is making the payment especially for the properties without a title. In the Kirima land saga, the Kirima family were paying land rates, hence why the claim for adverse possession from the squatters failed. Remember, to successfully seek for adverse possession, you must among other things prove uninterrupted continuous settlement in the property.
  5. Always have a sale agreement for any land transaction and proof of paymentsRemember, a sale agreement and receipts of proof of payment of the purchase price is the only way you can prove in court that you purchased a property from the seller. It is therefore, important that you have a well executed sale agreement and acknowledgment slips from the purchase confirming receipts of the purchase price. In the Kirima land saga the people who had this proofs were saved from being evicted and court ordered the sale to be completed with 90 days. This alone is evidence of the importance of having evidence of you purchasing the property.
  6. Developing a property is not grounds of being saved from evictionsThere are people from both the Mavoko and Kirima land saga who legit believed that the fact that they had developed properties, they could not be evicted. Please note, when determining ownership of any property, the fact that the property has been developed is not even top 5 of the factors court considers. It is therefore important to ensure you at least have a title deed before developing any property.I hope this article has been impactful. If you need any assistance in purchasing or disposing off property, you can contact us through 0714457082 or email: ino@ruthtanuiadvocates.co.ke.


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Lawyer Ruth Tanui

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Author & Managing Partner at Ruth Tanui & Company Advocates
Here are 6 Lessons from the Mavoko and Kirima Land Saga from a land Lawyer. #landbuying #legaladvice#legalinsights #legal

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