Relief for woman as court allows her to take Lavington property

Tuesday, November 16th, 2021 01:42 |
Samuel Makori

A woman who has been fighting for her matrimonial property in Lavington for the last seven years has obtained a reprieve after the Environment and Land Court allowed her to salvage it from Kenya Commercial Bank.

The woman, through lawyer Samuel Makori of Makori and Karimi Advocates had sued the bank after it refused to allow her to discharge and redeem the said property so as to secure the title.

The bank had refused her to redeem the property on grounds that the property was under her husband’s name.

Her husband had defaulted in repayments of the loan attached to the house and relocated to Dubai leaving her to step in and pay the loan in full.

In her testimony, she claimed that the property in the leafy suburbs of Lavington was acquired as a joint venture between herself and her husband in 2007.

“We had both agreed that the Property will be registered in our joint names as joint owners. A deposit of 10percent was then paid as is the practice and it was agreed that a Loan Facility be taken for the balance,” she claimed.

She, however, later learnt that the Property was registered in the name of the husband only in unclear circumstances and a loan taken for the balance of the mortgage.

She claimed that during the life of the mortgage which was over 14 years, the bank denied her access to the loan statements or the status of the loan and on repayment of the loan in full declined to allow her to discharge and redeem the property so as to secure the title.

During trial, the bank through its witness referred to the woman as a "stranger" insisting that they had no obligation to disclose anything to her in respect of the Loan Status and repayments or agree to redeem and discharge the property to her as she was not the account holder.

The bank contended that the only person they knew and could interact with was the woman’s husband and insisted that in case he did not appear to apply for a discharge of the property they would transfer the same to the Unclaimed Assets Authority despite the fact that the Plaintiff had fully repaid the Loan.

Justice Loise Komingoi dismissed the bank’s arguments noting that the registration of the property in the names of the husband only was contrary to the agreement by the parties and that the Land Act, 2012 provided for sufficient safeguards for the woman to protect her investment in the Property.

According to the judge, the payments made by the woman were clearly for purposes of the mortgage therefore Kenya Commercial Bank could not term her as a stranger.

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