The property brokering industry has been hit by a fraud crisis, several people have noticed that there are gaps they can take advantage of to advance their thieving agenda and knock off unsuspecting people.
Because look at it this way, you are in need of a house urgently and you really want a nice one. You will fall for any nice one at a very unbelievable rate. Imagine looking for a double room at Shs400,000 and you find a triple for Shs500,000? Too good a deal to lose., huh? Snap out of it, you are being ROBBED.
Bernard Ssentongo, a banker noticed he was growing financial and his family of two would later expand, he started a quest for a house that would accommodate his needs.
One morning he starts ransacking one Facebook page after another but none was providing the much-required results. While at lunch break at work, he gets a colleague who introduces him to OLX, a property site.
“I bought my two cars on that site, I have not found any trouble with it,” Ssentongo’s colleague swore.
Ssentongo starts familiarization with the site, downloads the app and customizes choice to three-bedroomed houses or two bedroomed houses around; Bukoto, Ntinda, Naalya, Namugongo, and Kiira.
And yes, the app produced several options including those he really didn’t ask for. Some brokers attach houses elsewhere and some really have appealing pictures.
“I narrowed down to this specific house, it was in Mutungo where I didn’t even choose in the first place but the house was so appealing. I got in touch with the broker and he asked we meet at Oryx petrol station along Kintatale Luzira road,” Ssentongo tells Nile Post.
“At Oryx, I waited in the car and the broker showed up, he introduced himself briefly and then sat in the car. I had carried a colleague with me for the house hunt, just for the sake of the company and may be security. Good enough, he came with a lady companion, they took the back seats and left the broker lounge in front,” he adds.
The broker took Ssentongo around about 4 houses, all were so nice that he was spoilt for choice, Ssentongo claims that he was so shocked that houses that big existed at such a low price.
“We were at Mutungo hill, and the broker walks into this house, a storied three bedroomed, enclosed with a high fence. The house has a swimming pool beside and spacious parking with car safety tents. Inside the house, there is a bar section and an entire living room up stairs. This was it, I said to myself, this is the kind of house I want,” he narrates.
“The broker shocked me when he said the house owner wanted only Shs800,000 to relinquish it to a tenant. He added that the price would actually go lower to about Shs700,000 if I paid over 8 months. I was extremely excited about this deal.”
He says that the broker shocked him further when he said the house was just a second choice, as there would be a better one to see shortly.
“My colleagues started wanting the same house, they asked the broker if they could take it in case I chose another. We were already at the next house, even better than the first. For it had something extra……..fully furnished.”
Ssentongo said that this specific house had a property in it, beds were still laid, the kitchen had all tings in it, and the sitting room had all its furniture.
“I had already changed my mind, the house had everything inside, plus a swimming pool outside. Here the broker said the previous tenant was a white woman who returned to her country and left the property which the landlord doesn’t need.”
“He told me that it would be up to me to leave the property or take it. On asking the rates, he said this would be about Shs700,000 a month and would even go to Shs600,000 if I paid a year.”
“I was not willing to wait, I asked that we meet the landlord immediately and I make the deposit. He called the Landlord and asked that we negotiate on the phone. But first, he told me the LandLord was a very rich man who would be so good to me if I keep my word or even pay faster.”
Ssentongo said that the behavior by the broker was very strange all of a sudden, but he was too excited with this house to even think twice.
“He told me that some people wanted the house but they took some hours without paying and the Landlord changed his mind. I found this strange but for some reason, I did not care much. Off I call the landlord, and here, I start moving into a huge scam trap…”
The writer is a private contributor to the Nile Post