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Legal expert urges diasporans to exercise due diligence in property deals

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By Alois Vinga


A legal expert Vengai Madzima has implored Zimbabweans working in the diaspora to exercise due diligence when engaging in immovable property dealings to avoid being defrauded and losing their hard-earned money to scammers back home.

The calls come at the back of numerous horrendous experiences which diasporans have experienced over the years at the hands of bogus realtors. In the worst-case scenario, several others have been shortchanged by their relatives only to discover years later that images of houses under construction which were sent to them were just a farce.

But speaking to NewZimbabwe.com ahead of the Zim Diaspora Property Showcase to be held on July 13 at the Hilton, Birmingham Metropole in the UK, Madzima, a senior partner and head of the Property, Estates Department at MCM Legal said there is a need to exercise due diligence in all property dealings.

RELATED: UK: Zim Diaspora Property Showcase – a platform to explore the property market back home

The Zim Diaspora Property Showcase is organised by real estate company Seeff Zimbabwe and will bring on board several property experts and stakeholders who will interface and explore strategies to circumvent property investment challenges in the country.

Registration for the inaugural event is free.

“Prospective purchasers in the diaspora face the risk of double sales. Where they buy a property that has been sold to someone else. In some instances, I am told some have bought properties that do not exist.

“It will be difficult to then enforce such agreements because a variety of legal factors will have to be considered before the purchaser is awarded the purchased property by our courts,” he said.

He said it is essential therefore that the purchaser also contributes to the due diligence process by engaging a registered estate agent and a registered legal practitioner to assist with the process.

The legal expert said a prospective purchaser can verify the registration status of either of them with the Estate Agents Council and Law Society of Zimbabwe respectively.

Madzima said these two professionals will have an on-the-ground appreciation of the transactions and can conduct the requisite due diligence processes including completing the transaction most efficiently in consultation with the purchaser who is their principal.

“Our law requires agreements of sale for properties to be in writing. The drafting, due diligence or review for these agreements should be undertaken by Legal practitioners to ensure that all the critical parts of a binding agreement have been included. That is what they are trained to do at the end of the day,” he said.

He added that various structures can be implemented to limit or mitigate the loss of funds through remote construction of properties.

Madzima will share more details on legal aspects when dealing with property transactions at the Zim Diaspora Property Showcase where he is one of the key panelists.