[SIZE=7]Landlords’ Powers Over Tenants Slashed in Proposed Law[/SIZE]
[li]By DERRICK OKUBASU on 23 February 2022 - 5:18 pm[/li]
Ephraim Murigo, the Secretary-General of Urban Landlords and Tenants of Kenya speaks to Daily Nation
Landlords are set to lose their powers over tenants if a proposed bill sponsored by the National Assembly Majority Leader Amos Kimunya sails through the Senate.
The bill, which has already received support from leaders on both sides of the political divide, demands that all landlords must give their tenants a 3-month (90-day) notice before increasing their rent.
The bill, known as the Landlord and Tenant Bill, also demands that the landlords must list down reasons for their decision to increase the rent.
"A landlord shall not increase the rent payable by a tenant for rented premises unless the landlord gives the tenant at least ninety days written notice of intention to do so.
Residents are pictured in semi-complete apartments in Nairobi.
“The notice to be given under subsection (1) shall be in the prescribed form and shall specify the: landlord’s intention to increase the rent and the amount of new rent,” reads Section 18 of the bill.
It also noted that the increase without a 90-day notice would be considered null and void by a Tribunal to be created by the Judiciary.
The Bill also proposes that landlords and their prospective tenants should get into an agreement on the amount of rent payable.
Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya
In the case where a figure cannot be reached by the two parties, the matter shall be forwarded to the tribunal to determine the matter.
"Where an agreement cannot be reached by the parties at any time during the tenancy, a Tribunal, on reference by either of the parties, shall determine the fair rent of the premises based on comparables of similar lettings
“The comparables of similar lettings to be taken into consideration (above) shall not be more than two years older than the premises whose rent is under consideration,” the bill added.
The upward review in rent should also be a subject of consent from the Tribunal which will consist of the chairperson, the deputy chairperson, and three other members.
Senators Ledama Ole Kina (Narok) and his Elgeyo Marakwet counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen have shown their support for the Bill arguing that landlords should not evict their tenants or increase the rent arbitrarily.
“The notice gives you enough time to say you can no longer live in this premise and you move to another. So, a landlord cannot just wake up one day and say the rent has moved from 5,000 to 10,000 you must give the necessary notice and according to the law," stated Murkomen.
“You cannot just evict a Kenyan living in your property without consent by a tribunal in the event that tenant has not paid rent for let’s say a month and if the eviction is not carried out within a stipulated time then it lapses and that person continues living in that house," Ledama supported.