Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Patrick Muriuki: I built my bungalow after caretaker kicked me out for late rent payment

Patrick Muriuki’s experience of owning a home reflects the impact of the ‘deep state’ in society suppressing the disadvantaged.

At 38 years, Muriuki embarked on a house construction journey after being forcefully kicked out of his apartment over rent arrears.

Although he had the capability to pay for the place, his salary was often credited after the 5th of every month, which was the deadline for most landlords to collect rent. His salary was also very consistent.

Speaking at an interview, the now 54-year-old man recalled that he used to work for a technology company in Nairobi. He resided in a one-bedroom apartment located near Toy Market, complete with a functional bathtub.

“Our salaries were paid between the 10th and 15th of the following month consistently. I would do side hustles to get some cash by 5th but sometimes it wasn’t possible,” he said.

One evening in December, the caretaker approached him and demanded rent payment without fail. The caretaker told him to vacate the house before Christmas day if he wouldn’t be able to meet expectations.

“He told me to move out and find a house I could afford,” he recalled.

This caused a rift between him and the property owner, and subsequently, after 27 years of paying rent, Muriuki decided to build his own home.

Patrick Muiruki started by moving to Umoja and bought 3.25 acres of land in the Juja Farm Savanna. To generate the proceeds to buy the land, Muriuki sold land he owned in Mararui, Coastal Kenya.

Despite the financial setback, Patrick used the remaining funds to start constructing a small house. Over time, he gradually expanded it into a 4-bedroom bungalow.

Photos: Net finally removed from landmark OTC building after years under construction

He recalls that the initial structure was quite rudimentary, with only poles and iron sheets. However, he persevered and kept his dream of owning a home alive.

In the early stages, things were far from easy for him. He vividly remembers an incident when heavy rainfall poured through the open roof and ran straight into his mouth, leaving him completely drenched.

The landlord’s experience taught him that landlords will never be family members if there’s no blood relation.

He advises that one should strive to become a homeowner so that they may have a shelter in case things go south in life.

“It doesn’t matter how long one has paid rent to a landlord. The day problems come knocking, one should know they are on their own,” he explained.

“I live in the farm now from December last year after paying rent for 27 years,” he concluded.

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