Landlords Now Face Jail Term Over Rent Decisions - Commissioner

  • A rental house with uprooted roof in Kariobangi, Nairobi. 20th April 2020.
    A rental house with uprooted roof in Kariobangi, Nairobi. 20th April 2020.
  • Landlords in Isiolo County may end up behind bars for removing tenants' doors and throwing out their property, County Commissioner Herman Shambi has threatened.

    Speaking after inspecting a house of a security guard identified as Ashford Murithi whose door was demolished while he was at work, the commissioner explained that landlords or caretakers will be charged with theft if they forcefully broke into tenants' houses and threw out their belongings.

    "A person who demolishes another's house and takes property from it, that will be treated as a crime and theft. We shall hunt him down and arrest him.

    Below is a video of Commissioner Herman's warning:

    "Removing someone else's door is inhumanity but throwing his property is a crime and the law must take its course. When Covid-19 subsides, that is when life will resume normalcy," he stated.

    Murithi who lives in Isiolo told the press that he had gone to work at night as a guard but when he returned, he found the door to his house missing over a Ksh1,000 rent arrears.

    He said that the landlord had issued a notice for some tenants to vacate and that when he got home from work, his table, chairs and a bed were missing.

    "I returned and found my door missing becuase of Ksh1,000 and the deadline had not reached. I get paid every 5th of every month and he knows that.

    "I lost a bed, chairs, maize and a sound system and I have already made a report. The missing property is estimated at Ksh15,000," Murithi narrated.

    The County Commissioner apealed to landlords and their caretakers to be lenient to families noting that the pandemic had led to job losses across the country.

    He urged landlords to find an amicable understanding with their tenants to allow them to settle debts periodically if they cannot offset the bills in one go.

    The economic downturn occassioned by the pandemic has seen even auctioneers unable to find enough buyers while disposing proerty seized over debts. 

    A report by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows that inflation in the country had reduced from 7.1%  in February 2020 to 4.6% in June after purchasing power was eased on goods.

    “Inflation remains well anchored. Month-on-month overall inflation declined to 4.6% in June from 5.3 per cent in May 2020, and is expected to remain within the target range in the near term,” stated Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge.

    A report by The Standard indicated that individuals distressed by the pandemic were dumping off their properties including cars and furniture but there were no takers in sight, even with prices almost halved.

    Below is a video of tenant narrating how the door to their rented house was removed: