Safe Waves Apartments Ltd, masters of Unjustifiable rent increments, verbal abuse, threats, utilities cut off and improper waste disposal.
“In the midst of all the firing and coronavirus pandemic that has, not only killed our businesses but also our miserable lives, Safe Waves Apartments Ltd has increased our rent by Sh5,000.”
My fellow Kenyans who reside in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret amongst other major towns in Kenya, is tenancy really a choice at all?
I don’t know your answer but, ever asked yourself why tenants choose to stay despite the manifest harassment by agents, landlady and landlords?
In Kenya, the laws governing tenancy and resultant disputes are two, The Rent Restriction Act Cap 296 laws of Kenya and The Landlord and Tenant (Shops, Hotel and Catering Establishment Act) Cap 301.
Kenya has also Distress for Rent Act. It is a law that gives property owners the mandate to seize or cause a seize of goods from a tenant that owes rent.
So, if you are in arrears of more than a month, your landlord will use the act to try and sell your goods to recover the money you owe them. In this case, a property owner does not have to seek a court order to recover rent. The law requires landlords to use licensed auctioneers to conduct the process.
A huge number of complaints filed at the Business Premise Rent Tribunal by tenants reporting harassment by landlords reveal the reality of the unevenness in the relationship between the landlord and a tenant in Kenya.
The relationship between tenants and landlords is greatly skewed in favour of the landlord. It is rare that a tenant would walk into an apartment or a business premise and feel like they are on equal footing with the landlord.
According to Enock Onyango a real estate agent as long as there are desperate people, there will be unscrupulous landlords who abuse the power dynamic to harass, intimidate and even increase rent without following the due process.
The shortage of proper and affordable housing in Nairobi, for instance, has created an enormous number of desperate people clamouring for the few affordable houses and homes.
So If you are a distressed tenant and choose to object the unjustified rent increments, you must first notify your landlord within 30 days after receiving the notice.
The Urban Landlords and Tenants Association is one legal body you can use to lodge your objections on the increments.