Landlords respond to tenants requests for rent waivers

Landlords respond to tenants requests for rent waivers

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A street view in Nairobi's Pipeline Estate

A street view in Nairobi’s Pipeline Estate

Property managers and Real Estate agents have opposed the bid to waive total rent for tenants amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an interview with local media, a section of landlords termed the bid impractical citing that the effects of the deadly virus are cutting across the board thus they are also affected.

The group instead asked for new measures to be put up in order to enable both landlords and tenants to share the pain to prevent massive rent defaulting.

Further stating that some tenants are taking advantage of the situation to intentionally not pay rent.

Knight Frank, the Managing Director at Ben Woodhams, alluded that negotiations on loan servicing with the banks should be instituted for the waiver to be effected.

“It seems to me that tenants just make an assumption that it is jolly nice for landlords to collect rent and now want them to turn off that tap and help them out, but that is not the case at all.”

He further explained the chain involved explaining that failure to pay rent by tenants would result in higher loan interests as well as failure to pay servicing including security.

“The consensus is that landlords and tenants must share that pain and to me that would be a full-service charge and a 50 percent reduction in rent because the service charge is keeping the building going.”

Yesterday, the Landlords and Tenant Association of Kenya (LATAK) launched a helpline meant to address complaints and harassment on evictions.

Through a press conference, they unveiled a shortcode 20777 where netizens can send text messages such as “Landlords” or “Tenants” to seek aid amid COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

“LATAK directs all tenants not to pay rent until when Uhuru Kenyatta orders businesses to resume normal operations. For Kenyans to stay in their houses because this is a collective responsibility for everybody, we all have to play our part, if we play our part correctly we can defeat this thing within three months and we will go back to normalcy,” Juma spoke on behalf of the association members.

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