Nakuru Landlord Removes Tenant’s Roof Over Ksh 2K Rent Arrears

  • A rental house with uprooted roof in Kariobangi, Nairobi. 20th April 2020.
    A rental house with uprooted roof in Kariobangi, Nairobi. 20th April 2020.
  • A landlord in Nakuru on Saturday had his tenant’s roof removed over Ksh2,000 delayed rent payment for the month of March.

    Gerald Kirika, on April 10, had gone to work when his neighbour called to inform him that his roof had been removed.

    “The roof was removed at 1 p.m. when the children were making ugali. I only owe the landlord rent for March only. My children were rained on after the incident. Don’t I have rights?” Kirika angrily said.

    A line of highrise rental houses in Nairobi
    A line of highrise rental houses in Nairobi.
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    Kirika added that the rains destroyed his electronics, birth certificates and books. In addition, Kirika lost foodstuff including maize flour which he had just restocked.

    “When the landlord was summoned to the police station he said that he would not pay for the damages.

    “The landlord wants to do away with old tenants so that the new tenants pay more. I have stayed here for six months and we pay Ksh2,000 for rent. The new tenants pay Ksh2,300,” he said.

    Angry neighbours have called on the government to ensure that justice is served claiming that the landlord violated the rights of the child and her father by removing the roof.

    “I found the child cooking ugali and she told me that she thought baboons had removed the roof. I am very sad. The landlord should have given him the chance to move or pay the rent," Kirika's neighbour, Mary Wanjiru said.

    “I have not paid rent for six months and my landlord has not evicted me. A lot of his goods were destroyed after the roof was removed. The landlord should understand that he is a single father...this is inhumane,” another neighbour added.

    In 2020, Eric Mbuhia suffered the same fate when his landlord removed his roof due to Ksh3,500 unpaid rent despite him explaining that he had financial problems.

    “The landlord came to the plot infuriated and demanded that I pay him Ksh3,500 plus Ksh2,000 for April’s rent. I explained that I have been having problems and that my income was low due to the pandemic but he still demanded that I pay up,” Mbuhia said in a past interview.

    While speaking in August 2020, Isiolo County commissioner Herman Shambi said that landlords may end up behind bars for removing tenant’s doors and roofs.

    “A person who demolishes another’s house and takes property from it will be treated as crime and theft. Removing someone’s door is inhumanity but throwing his property is a crime and the law must take course,” Shambi stated.

    Ruai residents whose houses were demolished on Mah 16, 2020, gather what they can following the demolition.
    Ruai residents whose houses were demolished on May 16, 2020, gather what they can following the demolition.
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