CAPTION: NASA flag-bearer Musalia Mudavadi being shown the planned Fourways Junction Estate by its owner Peter Muraya.
Dear Mr Nyakundi,
I read your very interesting article titled “#SurayaPropertySham : Thieving Couple Peter & Sue Muraya On The Spot For Conning Clients”
I would like to update you on how the owners and residents of Fourways Junction have dealt with their issues with Suraya to demonstrate that we are not what you described as “the dumb 8-4-4 conditioned middle-classers, (who) took the bait, and are now counting their losses after being scammed in the Suraya Fourways Sham, executed to perfection by one greedy couple”. Perhaps the residents and owners of the Lynx at Mbagathi can learn a few lessons from Fourways Junction?
The “dumb” residents registered the Fourways Junction Residents Association (FJRA) in June 2014 and in August 2016 we took over the management of the estate away from the Suraya company that was mismanaging the affairs of the estate under the same Anne Njeri who is mentioned in the Lynx estate management. We took over estate management from Suraya after numerous warnings to them about pretty much the same issues that Lynx are dealing with. Unsubstantiated bills and huge bills from KPLC and Nairobi water, unaccountability, poor provision of services, poor customer service, theft of funds by Suraya staff, arrogance of Suraya staff etc etc? At first Suraya tried to protest and intimidate us through petty actions like collecting all the dustbins and hiding them, but at the end of the day were unable to collect service charges from residents who refused to deal with them and withheld service charges. Residents then signed notation forms to allow the residents association to administer their service charges. The Suraya management company is the future cash cow that Suraya have inbuilt into all their developments. Unfortunately for them the “dumb” residents at Fourways Junction wised up and demanded accountability and exercised their rights under the law to appoint their own managers.
FJRA then got hands-on with a very dynamic and active chairman and committee which residents had appointed representatives to. The association hired a reputable property manager who revamped accounts, security, cleanliness and through them, Fourways Junction is now boasting a safe, vibrant, clean environment with diverse, engaged, caring community unlike any other estate in Nairobi. We invite you to visit the estate to see what a difference the association has made. Kids playing in playgrounds, riding bikes on clean streets, neighbors knowing each other, talking to each other, walking with each other … visiting each other. Fourways Junction is quickly becoming an estate of choice in Nairobi, particularly with expats outpriced in Runda.
Now through FJRA, we engage with Suraya …. who are also stakeholders in FJRA. They own a number of properties in the estate, and the association is able to enforce payment of service charge by Suraya – the property managers promptly disconnect water from Suraya tenants if service charge is not paid. The association also demands from Suraya that unfinished properties are secure and maintained in a tidy manner (through payments of 50% of service charge) and also follow up with them on delivery of unfinished projects. The association has also managed to block the development of the Lynx at Fourways until Suraya have delivered on the unfinished projects at Fourways Junction including the clubhouse and swimming pool which like the Lynx are unfinished.
The association is not shy to hit Suraya where it hurts them most …. in their pockets via pursuing court cases. Suraya, from the way they operate, has a global cash flow problem, which is why they are quick to collect money from the public and slow to deliver or refund. Many of the FJRA members are lawyers and provide counsel and services pro bono.
FJRA therefore speaks for residents in all matters relating to their welfare and harnesses the efforts of residents to improve services and welfare through various committees. The association creates and enforces estate byelaws to ensure welfare for all residents and legally pursues the rights of homeowners and residents.
So hopefully the Lynx at Mbagathi and other Suraya developments can learn from Fourways to keep Suraya in line. Suraya developments may be shoddily built, but the one thing they tend to get right is location. And houses at Fourways Junction are very well designed. Owners are able to finish their units according to their standards. Lynx residents should take heart and finish their units themselves the way they would like their units finished. It hurts that after you have spent so much for a property that you have to invest more to get it habitable. …. just do it. The location is right. And it’s easier than waiting for Suraya to do it.. Get a tenant in …. then go after Suraya in court to recover your monies. It’s a long term commitment …. but in the end and together as an association, they will win.