Nairobi Landlords to Lose Homes Worth Millions to KRA

  • An aerial view of a section of Ngara Estate in Nairobi
    An aerial view of a section of Ngara Estate in Nairobi
  • The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and City Hall issued a joint notice to Nairobi residents which warned that the taxman was set to seize thousands of homes and office blocks in the city. 

    KRA said that it was going after those landlords who defaulted on land rate payments and urged them to remit the taxes lest they lose their property

    "You are supposed to have paid up all the rate fees for the plot, including any arrears owed to the Nairobi County Government. 

    Kenya Revenue Authority signage on a building
    Kenya Revenue Authority signage on a building

    "The County Government Finance Act of 2015 mandates the authority [KRA] to repossess any land property the owner defaults rate payment and reallocate it to the deserving.

    "To know how much you owe the county government and to make any arrangement for payment of the same, visit KRA offices for assistance," the notice issued in early March 2021 read. 

    The taxman disclosed that the changes were occasioned by the 2018 amendment of the Revenue Act of 2015 which tasked City Hall the mandate to recover land rates as rental income. 

    The county amended the law after missing out on billions in the past years. KRA said that the landlords were not remitting their taxes despite the county offering them waivers before. 

    KRA also unveiled the Disclosure Program (VTDP) on January 1, 2021, through the Finance Act 2020. The program runs for three years and allows individuals to declare the income they had not proclaimed. The disclosures eligible under this programme are for tax periods of up to 5 years prior to 1st July 2020. This is from 1st July 2015 to 30th June 20

    The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) and the Nairobi County Government, in February 2021, said that they would review the land rates and would unveil a new system that would aid determine the rates. 

    ''I call upon our members of the County Assembly to support the document, considering the gains embedded in the Valuation Roll document, key among them increased revenue to the county. Our engagement is an assurance that we are on the right path since the key drivers of the agenda are on board, '' acting Nairobi City Council Secretary Jairus Musumba rallied. 

    Property owners were reported to have been paying rates at between 25 and 34 percent depending on the location of the property. The currently used Valuation Roll was prepared in 1980 and was implemented in 1982.

    It states that the main Valuation Roll should be prepared after every 10 years and should be updated annually.

    Nairobi County Headquarters at City Hall
    Nairobi County Headquarters at City Hall
    Simon Kiragu