A landlord in Weitethie area of Juja Sub-county has given his tenants a pleasant Easter surprise after slashing the May and June rent by half to cushion them against the economic effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Johana Maina Kamiti, a brother to the owner of the one-bed-roomed apartments in the Estate, stuck notices on the gates of his real estate property notifying them of the new development on Good Friday, to the amazement of his tenants and other local residents.
Tenants have been paying Sh10, 000 per month for each unit, hence the units will now cost them Sh5, 000 a month for the next two months.
This happening came as a relief and an Easter holiday present to the over 100 people currently occupying the residential houses, some of who have lost their jobs and are facing hard times financially.
Maina told the press that the decision was made to retain current tenants as well as ease their financial burden during this season of job cuts for most workers.
A notice on one of the gates on the plot dated April 3rd, read in part, ‘Due to the prevailing economic challenges as a result of Covid-19, we wish to hereby offer a 50 percent relief of your monthly rent due for the months of May and June.”
“We noted that most of the tenants stay at home and thought it wise to reduce their house rent cost by half to take them through this difficult period. We also want to retain them and ensure they pay their rent with relative ease,” he said.
Surprised tenants could not hide their joyous relief saying the move was unexpected since the landlord is known for his uncompromising stand when it comes to rent arrears.
“We were surprised to find the notice on the gate. We are, however, delighted because the gesture will enable us transit through this challenging period with relative ease,” said Sheila Akinya, one of the tenants.
She said had the landlord not reduced the rent charges in the prevailing circumstances, some tenants would have opted to relocate to cheaper and affordable residential houses.
Other tenants at nearby plots could not hide their anger directed at their landlords on learning about whatever had transpired and wished their landlords would follow in Maina’s footsteps.
“Some of us have been loyal to our landlords for over 10 years. We expect them to stand with us during this period but they seem disinterested. We are not amused,” said John Mwangi, a tenant from a nearby residential house.
Kenyans have been calling on the government to direct all landlords to either forgo or waive rent charges to cushion them during this financially challenging period.
However, Treasury Cabinet Secretary (CS), Ukur Yattani yesterday said the government would not compel them to effect the calls since doing so would slow down the Real Estate industry.
He, however, told landlords that they were free to waive rent on their own volition.
By Muoki Charles