Child sues father for attempting to sell family home

A woman has moved to court to stop her father from selling the family home in Nyali, Mombasa. Jane Njoki Kubai Mittermaier, who lives in Germany and her mother Mercy Njeri, moved to the High Court in Mombasa seeking to stop James Mathu Kubai from selling the three-bedroom home and other properties worth millions of shillings.Kubai had bought the house on a mortgage from Housing Finance Company Limited (HFCL) but defaulted for more than one year in 2011.

Jane said that her parents then asked her to pay off the loan balance of Sh750,000, which had accumulated to Sh4 million.

She said her father promised to transfer the ownership of the house to her, but later changed his mind. Jane said she later built three bedsitters and two shops at their home.On April 4, 2011, Jane sued her for attempting to sell off the house despite the earlier agreement that the house would belong to her after she finished repaying the mortgage.

Following the slow nature of the case, Jane, her mother and Kubai resorted to an out-of-court agreement. Through an application filed by family lawyer D. Ngonze, Jane said Kubai had promised on September 18, 2017 not sell any of the family properties and that Jane would be given 50 per cent shares of the house.On May 18, 2019 Kubai applied to have the court appoint a valuer before he could proceed to sell the home through a private treaty and then distribute the proceeds.But on Friday last week, Ngonze said that a matrimonial home cannot be subject to distribution without proof of divorce. (Kubai and his wife still live in the house.)

Jane wants Justice Charles Yano to declare her as the owner of the house and have her registered as the sole owner of the property.Also enjoined in the case is HFCL, which is holding the title deed to the property.She also sought orders to stop HFCK from transferring the title deed of the homestead to her father and also have him pay for the cost of the suit and any other relief.Jane said that she saved their home from being auctioned by HFCL after her father defaulted on a mortgage he had taken from the lender.Justice Yano has, however, stopped HFCL from giving out the title deed of the house to any of the parties until the matter is concluded.Jane’s mother has accused her husband of selling family property without involving them.However, Kubai said that he wishes to relocate upcountry due to old age, health and lack of alternative source of income in Mombasa city.

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