The Institution of Surveyors of Kenya and Estate Agents Registration Board held a joint press conference today to give their views on the increased emergence of the “fake real estate firms” that have swindled innocent members of public. The two Institutions singled out Simple homes as one of such dubious companies that is still fresh in the mind of Kenyans.

Both institutions observed that this emerging trend is due to the  following issues; 

  • There is an apparent legal loophole in the property development industry in Kenya. Specifically, there is no law that that regulates the conduct of   property development companies and the only existing regulatory mechanism is through the Kenya Property Developers Association (KPDA).
  • Majority of Kenyans, who are desirous to own a home/property either do not know what to look for to identify the genuine or fake property developer or do not bother to do their due diligence.  Moreover, it is worth mentioning that the model these companies are using is new to majority of Kenyans therefore increasing their vulnerability to the scheme. Furthermore, Kenyans in a bid to cut cost do not involve professionals and specifically Registered Estate Agents in their endeavors.
The following were therefore recommended to address this issue
  • Kenyans should exercise caution when transacting in real estate. There is need to establish the track record of the company and more importantly to establish whether they have successfully completed similar project. The drawings should have been duly prepared by validly registered professional and approved by respective County Government.
  • The public should make it a point to use registered professionals, while transacting in land and property, they need to involve a registered estate agent. The only body that registers agents in Kenya is the Estate Agents Registration Board (EARB).
  • The Ministries of Land and Physical Planning and the one for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development should work with stakeholders and develop a legislation that would regulates the property developers to safeguard the public from dubious companies
  • The Government should continue to enhance the capacity of the Estate Agents Registration Board and other related regulatory real estate bodies to undertake their mandates effectively. In this regard, we acknowledge and applaud the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning who have embarked on the review of the relevant Acts in the Real Estate Sector to make them more responsive to the sector needs.