It is a dream of every Kenyan to live in a gated community with all the amenities that proclaim ‘life is sweet’. In fact, every Kenyan who can be classified as falling in the middle class bracket harbours a dream of living in a modern house located in a serene and quiet neighbourhood. The dream becomes even more fantasizing if the gated community has a golf course.
Having probably studied by the psychology of the typical Kenyan middle class, which is characterised with consumerism and living life on the first lane, real estate developers have found a market to exploit to the fullest. Though Kenya is experiencing a boom in the building and construction sector, it is now time to audit real estate developers.
In recent times, the country has witnessed a mad mushrooming of real estate developers with all manners of promises. The words ‘unique, lifestyle, tranquillity, serene among others are now associated with real estate developers selling plots in gated communities. More notably, nearly all radio stations and several TV stations are raking in millions from land selling companies and developers advertising their so-called ‘life changing’ projects.
In their quest to sell the plots, majority of the developers are promising gated communities with all the amenities including proper water and sewerage system, electricity, access roads, security, perimeter wall and even recreational facilities like golf courses, club houses, gym and spa, schools, shopping malls, hospitals among others.
But as reality is now dawning on many Kenyans who have bought land in the so-called gated community developments, the promise by developers of owning a home and living a decent life is unravelling as a big disappointment that borders on being conned. There are many Kenyans who have bought plots in gated communities, some as far as seven years ago, but cannot build their dream houses because developers have failed or refused to keep their side of the bargain.
In fact, the number of land selling companies and developers who have promised Kenyans ‘heaven on earth’, enticed people with free trips to the site and confused their judgement with promises of a dream life only to disappoint those who bought the plots is on the rise. It is today a pity to see rising numbers of Kenyan struggling to service banks, saccos and MFIs loans that were procured to purchase a plot that is now lying idle in some place on the outskirts of Nairobi.
Worse still, some of the land selling co-operatives and developers are houses on fire due to internal (board and members) wrangles and infighting. In effect, none of their promises can be actualised, with the losers being innocent Kenyans who have bought plots through them.
Considering that the situation is bound to worsen, it is time the government intervened and regulated the sector and more critically compel all real estate developers to keep their promises. If they can’t they should refund investors money, together with interest and fines. Otherwise these developers will continue hoodwinking innocent and unsuspecting Kenyans. If the situation is left unabated, it will result in monumental loses and suffering worse than the ones caused by the pyramid scheme heist.
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