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Landlords cautioned against violating the rights of their tenants

The landlords and tenants rent restriction board has warned property owners in Garissa against blatant violation of the rights of tenants.

There have been complaints from tenants over violations of their rights by the landlords that ranged from forceful evictions and locking of their rented houses without prior notice due to delayed rent payments.

Speaking during a one-day sensitization meeting between the landlords and their tenants at Government Guest House in Garissa town Friday, the vice chair of the Landlords and Tenants Rent Restrictions Tribunal Vice Chair Beatrice Mathenge said landlords should follow the laid down procedures in dealing with their errant tenants.

Mathenge said that the board has come up with a fair ‘playing ground’ for both the tenants and their landlords that has been aligned to the new constitution which among other issues protected the rights of every Kenyan, including landlords.

The vice chair said that both parties (landlord and tenant) should always seek advice from the tribunal when they felt aggrieved.

Mathenge said that most of the landlords and their tenants were ignorant about the laws something she said has largely landed most of them in problems or led to conflicts between the parties.

“We have rules and regulations in the tribunal that not only protects both the landlords and their tenants but also gives guidelines on how some of the issues and concerns by both parties can be amicably resolved,” she said.

“As a tribunal, we have developed procedures and guidelines based on our interactions with the landlords and tenants on how best some of these issues can be resolved,” she added.

The meeting that was largely boycotted by the landlords comes at a time when tenants who feel frustrated have nowhere to take their grievances despite the tribunal having an office in Garissa town.

According to the tribunal, the landlord has an obligation to maintain and keep the premises in a state of good structural repair and condition suitable for human habitation among others.

On the other hand, the tenant is obliged to pay rent in time as per the agreement.

By Jacob Songok

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