Did You Know That Children Can Own Property?

shalom09No parent wants to bring into the world a child who will end up suffering from poverty and dependence to economical waves as /when they grow up. We all want to secure our children's lives by creating sources of income that will sustain them, and their children and their children's children.As a wise parent, you have been investing little by little in various places of Kenya and that is commendable.

Spouses have bought land, rented it to farmers who pay back some amount of money every month for the land andthe produce they make from it. The most obvious investment has been rental income from tenants living in your apartments and for that, we commend you.
Probably you have been collecting the rent and saving it up for your children in a piggy bank or children's savings account and for that we commend you.

Your children are too young, probably newborn, and therefore the money aspect is a tad bit too complex to understand but when they grow older you are going to train them in the way that they should go, and they won't depart from it, hopefully. That is commendable too. But do you know that little bundle of joy can be a property owner of say, Shalom Gardens Phase II?

Yes. Two land laws (Standard Newspaper 2013)— the Land Registration Act and Land Act, 2012 — clearly gives children the right to own property

Based on the Land Registration Act, Section 47:"a child can be officially registered as the owner of an apartment, mansion, bungalow, house or land. The registration is to enable the interest of the minor to be held in trust under the name of the guardian."

childownFig.1 Retrieved from the Kenya Law website.

The Land Act, Section 27 on the other hand provides that:

childown2Fig. 2 Retrieved from the Kenya Law website.

There is a restriction of transaction on (selling or leasing) the property and the law expects the registrar of lands to enter that restraint accordingly. Here are several examples of property owned by children as outlined on the Standard News Paper "Home & Away" issue (June 16, 2016) Pg9:

Spouses are registering jointly acquired property, like Optiven Limited's newest project Shalom Gardens (Phase II), under their children's names. Spouses who own rental homes instruct their lawyers to open bank accounts named after the children for rent deposits to be directed there.

Some spouses register the children as sole-heirs of their wealth in their wills, after death, as provided for in the Law of Succession Act.
To avoid matrimonial property battles incase of divorce or death, parents register property in their children's names to lock out other children born of the father's mistresses. The court then appoints guardians or trustees to administer the property on behalf of the children until they are 18 years therefore the guardian receives, recovers and invests the property for the child's benefits and has to keep a record of the payments up-to-date just incase they are needed in court.

NB: It is hard for creditors to auction property registered under the names of children, as these investments do not legally belong to the parents –who are merely trustees.

The Standard News Paper "Home & Away" issue (June 16, 2016) Pg9:

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