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I won’t reduce rent; I’m servicing a loan, says Landlord

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Rentals in Kiambu: A landlord in Ruaka, Kiambu County has  flatly refused to reduce rent for his tenants. This follows a plead that his tenants had made to the landlord due to the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

According to the landlord, his inability to reduce the rent is due to his loan obligations. Reports say that residents at The Jowac apartments, which is situated along Kinuthia Drive in Kiambu had asked the landlord who was identified as Wambugu to reduce their rent by 50 per cent for the months of May and June.

“We are watching developments about coronavirus very closely and, as you might imagine, we are really concerned. Our financial circumstances have changed completely because of COVID-19 due to government’s advice on people to work from home. Because of this, we would like to discuss a possibility of 50 per cent rent waiver for a period of May and June as we monitor how the situation goes bearing the fact that most of us are on an unpaid leave,” the residents said.

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In response, Mr. Wambugu said that his flats were constructed using a bank loan which he was re-paying and as such, he could not heed to their request.

“For your information, I am paying a loan of Sh 1.048 million per month. Your request is untenable. Never assume that a person has more disposable income than you merely because he is your landlord. Indeed some of my tenants drive better cars than me. Most buildings are constructed using loans,” he responded. Rentals in Kiambu.

A report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics has revealed that at least 30.5 per cent of Kenyan households were unable to pay May rent on agreed dates due to tough economic times caused by cororonavirus.

The report showed that about 21.5 per cent who usually pay rent on agreed date with landlord were unable to pay rent for April on time. Approximately 59.8 per cent of those who usually pay rent on the agreed date were able to pay rent for the month of April on time.

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