A section of legal lobby groups have called upon Judiciary Chief Justice David Maraga to order the prosecution of landlords found violating tenancy laws in pursuit of distress for rent during the Covid-19 pandemic – By Gerald Gekara.
Civil Society Reference Group noted the concern of rising cases of residents being mistreated by their tenants are on the rise, despite President Uhuru’s call for tenants to go easy on Kenyans.
According to the group’s Presiding Convener Suba Churchill, the move is aimed at protecting tenants from rogue and uncouth property owners who engage in unlawful and criminal acts including removing roofing materials, doors, and other fixtures from their structures without any regard to the rights of tenants.
He added that the group will petition the National Assembly and the Senate to look at the Registered Land Act, the Landlord, and Tenant Act, the Distress for Rent Act, the Transfer of Property Act, the Rent Restriction Act, and the Auctioneers Act.
The government has not given a stand on how landlords will handle their tenants in terms of rent arrears and loan repayments, but rather, beg for mercy on behalf of Kenyans.
The Senate Ad hoc Committee on COVID-19 earlier, proposed a Bill which if passed was slated to exempt Kenyans from paying monthly rent.
The Pandemic Response and Management Bill (2020) that was sponsored by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja provides that the Housing Cabinet Secretary shall with approval of Parliament, outline measures to cushion landlords and tenants.
According to the proposed law, where a pandemic affects the economic or purchasing power of the public, Treasury Cabinet Secretary may, with the approval of Parliament, introduce tax measures to cushion the affected persons for the duration.
The Bill further states that where citizens are not able to service their loans and mortgages, the individual borrower shall notify and enter into an agreement with the lending institution on how to make the payments after the pandemic.