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Why ignorance of finer details hurts lazy home buyers

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Who does not want to own a home one day? It is the endeavour of nearly every family. It is a pride, an achievement if I may. Yet we make careless mistakes at the tail of the tedious sweat to the realisation of this dream. Let me first put things into perspective; our construction ecosystem remains stubbornly fractured and dysfunctional. It is highly fragmented and very conservative.

Ingrained practices make it incredibly punitive and unforgiving. Before deciding to buy a house, you must wake up to this realisation.Most home buyers are lazy, careless and easily gullible.

They are, by large, only fixated with house prices and retreat to their ‘paradise’ cocoon once the house price makes sense to them. This attitude has been the icing to spurious developers. Listen, buying a house, especially off-plan, requires vigilance.

a`There are several boxes that must be closely monitored and ticked. Unfortunately, one of the critical boxes that always evades most buyers is the defects liability period. Many have and still painfully paid for this ignorance.

Requirements

Defects liability period, mostly six months, is a period of time following the practical completion during which a contractor remains liable under the building contract for dealing with any defects that become apparent. This period is fixed in a building contract between a developer and client. It can never be altered to suit a buyer.

Once the period has lapsed, the contractor’s liability to rectify defects on your house lapses. Unknown to most buyers, the defects liability period always begins with the architect’s practical completion certificate to the contractor. It starts even before the occupation certificate is obtained. In fact, the architect’s practical completion certificate is one of the requirements for obtaining a county’s occupational certificate. Yet buyers normally take their sweet time to access their houses, after construction completion, unaware that the contractor defects liability period awaits no one.

Not even the developer.In some instances where final house payments are pegged on occupation certificate, the practical completion certificate, which instigates the defect liability period, can be irregularly and prematurely issued before actual completion of works so that a ‘broke ‘developer start to receives money from buyers.

How? Our long outstanding ethics deficit history as a country. Several times I have come across home buyers who ignorantly insist that the defects liability period be counted from the date they take possession of their house.Ignorance has driven many to complicate even the irreducibly simple. It is impossible to tailor defects liability period to each buyer.

Imagine the chaos of doing so to 100 buyer. The defects period will always rise and set on all at the same time – make peace with that. It is imperative to always note this as a buyer and insist then on seeing the architect’s certificate of practical completion to know when the defect period begins and lapses. Engrave those dates somewhere if you can’t memorise. Even on projects with sectional occupation certificate, ask for the practical completion certificate that was used to obtain the sectional occupation certificate.

Once you have immaculately noted the defects liability period, please carry out and document all the house snags issues and ensure they are rectified within the period. In situations where access to your house is pegged to clearance of final payment, request the developer access to allow you snag the house for any noticeable defects to be rectified.

Avoid running into cat and mouse games with the developer once this period has lapsed. There will be only one loser. You. For the umpteen time, the defects liability period will not be tailored to your wish as a buyer, it’s a contractual period that is fixed.

There will not be even an extra day added to it. I appreciate that the greatest struggle in mankind is that against ignorance, but this can no longer be classified as ignorance, especially in 2019. We cannot keep making the same mistakes over and over. Be wise or perish! – The writer is chairman of Association of Construction Managers of Kenya. nashon.okowa@gmail.com

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Business

PHOTO: What is happening in Amani Ridge the Place of Peace.

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Today 11.08.2020

Welcome to Amani Ridge and take a tour to our green spaces, home to 546 different types of fruit trees!

You will also meet a dedicated team on the ground doing the final closure of the perimeter wall.

Join Optiven family today and get an opportunity to to build your home in a serene,scenic and natural environment.

Call us now:
0790300300 or 0723400500
Website: www.optiven.co.ke

Experience the difference

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Business

OPTIVEN: All our projects have you in mind

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We think of accessibility to social amenities, education needs for your children, all social, recreational and economic needs as well.

Living in the Garden of Joy gives you access to all the above and more!

Enjoy all the benefits of living in this wonderful gated community which is just a 7 minute drive from Koma Town.

Invest today in quality living for your family
Call us on 0723 400 500 or visit https://bit.ly/30K8Vwi

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Business

How Covid-19 lifted my Sh1,000 business

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Covid-19 has hit the working class hard. President Uhuru Kenyatta during one of his recent statements warned of 500,000 job losses in six months should Covid-19 persist.

And women bear the brunt of the pandemic as most of them work in the informal sector, the hardest hit by the job cuts.

For Purity Namalwa Nasilwa, however, losing her job was a blessing in disguise.  Instead of drowning in sorrow and self-pity, she used the chance to make a financial comeback.

The 22-year-old sat for her KCSE in 2018, attained a B (Minus) grade, earning her admission to Kenyatta University but lack of school fees did her in.

ACCEPTED FATE

“I had accepted that my life and fate had entered into a coalition to mess me up…Poverty had been hanging around my neck like a guillotine and I had accepted that God’s grace was sufficient for me to enable me live a day at a time,” she says.

Her dream to pursue a course in hospitality went up in smoke when her parents could not afford her campus fees. Countless visits to her Kiharu MP’s office in search of help bore no fruit.

She immersed herself into casual labour in food joints in Murang’a town.

“For one and a half years, she eked a living in Mitura (African sausage) and soup joints, earning between Sh100 and Sh200 as daily wages,” she says.

In the course of toiling to make ends meet, she got pregnant.

PREGNANT AGAIN

“It did not come as a surprise to me. When life seems harsh to you, you get psyched that misfortunes are part of life. I found myself looking forward to giving birth and even expecting to get pregnant again. I cared not a damn…Little did I know I was sinking slowly into depression,” she says.

Then Covid-19 arrived into the country, all food joints in Murang’a were closed and she was jobless!
“Even when Governor Mwangi wa Iria revised the trade sanctions a month later, the damage had already been done since many small businesses had ran out of capital to pay rent and sustain profitability margins,” she says.

With house rent arrears of Sh5, 000 and hunger staring down at her and her baby, Ms Nasilwa knew her life was nearing unbearable limits.

Purity Nasilwa at her business premise in Murang’a County, preparing the immune boosting juice. PHOTO | MWANGI MUIRURI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

She sought help from her mum.

RENT ARREARS

“She gave me Sh1,000. It was a sacrifice since she was also experiencing the vagaries of Covid-19-induced financial hardships. My first instinct was to go shopping for food reserves. But wait; and afterwards? The rent arrears were accumulating,” she got thinking.

She had read, in the Bible, about the mustard seed and how it multiplied to generate wealth. The more she thought along that line, the more she got inspired to devise a way of making that Sh1,000 grow.

“I cracked my head for a strategy. An inspiration from nowhere struck my head and opened my horizons far and wide. I became aware that there was a market craze that was building about natural fruits touted to be immunity boosters against Coronavirus,” she says, adding that “that was my Eureka moment.”

She bought food reserves worth Sh300. She used the balance, Sh700 to buy Sh40 avocadoes, Sh50 pineapple, Sh50 bananas, Sh80 beetroots, Sh100 garlic, Sh50 sugarcane and Sh30 tomatoes.

JUICE BLENDING

“With Sh300 in hand now, I bought some plastic cups and jugs worth Sh200 and the balance of Sh100 became my cash in hand,” she says.

The next stop was at a neighbour’s house who gave her a juice blending machine.
She then approached a friend who runs a cybercafé along Biashara Street of Murang’a town for a space to display her new enterprise on a small wooden table.

“It must have been God’s favour since, from my starting stock, I made about 3,000ml of assorted juices, all of which were bought at Sh1,500 equivalent to a net profit of Sh900!” she says.

While many companies hurt during the coronavirus pandemic, some small businesses like Ms Nasilwa’s are seeing more and more customers by the day.

RELIEF FOOD

“It was too sweet to be true because my sales kept on growing by the day. I have expanded my start-up to include immunity booster uji (porridge) made of organic tuber flour, smooth and fresh juices, detoxes, puddings and salads, “ she says noting that on a bad day, “ I’m guaranteed at least Sh600 as profit.”

She does not require ‘Kazi Mtaani’ or relief food to earn a livelihood since she is self-reliant.

Ms Nasilwa is now more positive about life and says her future is premised on two hopes —either she gets sponsors to see her pursue university education that poverty denied her despite being qualified, or get a breakthrough in her business.

“My greatest lesson in life out of this Covid-19 experience is that not all calamities are bad…Covid-19 pandemic to me was a blessing in disguise. Again, I have come to realise that there is no small money in the hands of a determined mind to multiply it,” she says.

By nation.co.ke

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