With most Kenyans having been sent on unpaid leave by their employers and business owners having to close shops in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, the issue of tenants paying rent has been widely discussed in the country.
Most Kenyans holding on to hope that something will give and their landlords will reduce their rent.
While addressing the nation on Monday, April 6, President Uhuru Kenyatta appealed to landlords to reduce rent for their tenants.
The head of state requested the landlords to emulate their counterparts who had already waived the rent in the face of the pandemic.
“I am pleased to see Kenyans stepping up for each other in all our communities, I am pleased to see how Kenyans from all walks of life have responded and are contributing to help their brothers and sisters in need.
“Those property owners who have reduced or agreed to work terms for the monthly rent in order to provide roofs over the heads of vulnerable brothers and sisters and in this regard, I wish to urge all others to emulate this great example and not put our people in even more vulnerable situations as we face this current pandemic,” the president stated.
“This is truly a time for compassion. This is truly a time for understanding,” he added.
Michael Munene, a landlord in Nyandarua warmed the hearts of many after he waived rent for his tenants for two months.
“They have stayed in the houses for a long time and have been very cooperative in paying the rent. If the government was to order for a curfew due to the pandemic, where will the tenants get money to pay for rent?
“We are all struggling to stay alive. All we should be focused on right now is food. I have written letters to all my tenants and signed the agreement with them that they should not pay rent for two months,” Michael stated in an interview on Citizen TV.
The president’s appeal came days after the Landlords and Tenants Association of Kenya (LATAK) called for landlords across the country to offer their tenants rent waivers for the months of April, May and June.
LATAK wanted the measures implemented as soon as possible as part of the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition, they requested the government to order a 6-month moratorium on bank loans currently being serviced by landlords.
Below is a video courtesy of Daily Nation;