Kiss 100 Host, Nick Ndeda Explains How He Fell Victim of An Impersonating Real Estate Agent
Nairobi, home to about 4.4 million Kenyan sets the highest records of cases of fraud and scums in the property market due to its population that comes with a high demand for housing units.
For a long time, untrustworthy real estate agents have always taken advantage of first-time renters. However, the pandemic has brought in a cash crunch that has seen possible for anyone on a house hunt falling victims.
"House to let, bedsitter in kileleshewa, 5000ksh no agent" A poster on an electricity pole read. Posters that seem too sweet of a deal to be perfect, often turn out to be scumbags taking advantage of the economic situation.
This is one of the most common scams as you can also call it, the old cats' tricks. A radio personality, Nick Ndenda if KISS 100 FM, once come out after falling victim to an impersonating agent.
He paid for a house that was all booked which he found out in his move-in day through security at the gate when all his belongings were heaped on a pick up near the supposed property. Agents letting property that on paper doesn't belong to them neither are they authorized to represent the property owners is a common fraud in the industry.
(Image of Kiss 100 presenter, Nick Ndeda.)
The game has always been about winning the client's trust and for this, they can go way out of your league to fish legal documents and follow all the legal procedures just to avoid raising eyebrows.
- Off-plan housing
The plan is always to convince potential homeowners to invest in houses that are supposed to be built making this form of fraud highly risky. With the periodic payment of premiums to facilitate the development many agents may slip on their end and fail to deliver the projects as planned however much its investors have put in the effort.
Many agents go missing, done hand over the almost complete projects to another project manager for cash leaving clients stranded yet conned.
- Early booking
" I got a story to tell, me too I was conned 24,000ksh by those two con men and a con woman while looking for a house in Kasarani around Icipe...it's very painful...and that was a month ago September...But malipo ni hapa hapa duniani... They won't go far...and it's a group of people, and they are all over Kenya...A group of four family members..." A Facebook feed post from Suzern Marina read.
Some scummers may urge a house hunter to make some upfront then you never hear from them again. With the leverage of high house demand, you can get convinced to make some payment to get a reserved unit. For those who come really desperate for a place to stay they can use statements like paying a refund for a previous tenant who had booked but before you know it, they are gone.
- Viewing fee
House hunters who can't find their way around are those most scummed off viewing fees. Though some agents are usually genuine and truly help one to find a house more easily, others turn this into an opportunity to siphon off money. The fees that are usually paid are to facilitate agents as they help you around in-house hunting especially if they have some background information.
On your house hunting process one should be keen and keep eye on red flags for these frauds and scums always throw in some signs here and there.
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