New Bill Seeks To Stop Landlords From Increasing Rent as They Wish

BY MWANAHABARI REPORTER

Landlords in Kenya may soon lose the unilateral power that allows them to increase rent anytime they wish.

This is likely to happen once Kenyans submit their views on a bill that seeks to cushion tenants from exorbitant rent changes imposed by their landlords.

Kenyans have 10 days to make their submissions after the Senate asked members of the public to submit views on the Landlord and Tenant Bill, 2021.

The bill once made into law will give the government the power to cap rent payable in both commercial and residential premises.

The capping will be done at the inflation rate of the preceding year.

“Pursuant to provisions of Article 118 of the Constitution and Standing Order 140(5)…the committee on Roads and Transportation now invite interested members of the public to submit any representation that they may have on the Bill by way of written memoranda,” Clerk of the Senate Jeremiah Nyegenye said in a public notice.

According to Nyegenye, the memo must be received on or before Friday January 14.

Landlords can only increase rent if they introduce an additional service to clients like security, garbage collection, home internet, or if they make necessary upgrades to office blocks and homes.

If, however, landlords withdraw some of the services, then they will be obligated to reduce rent accordingly.

The bill – once passed – will also allow landlords to increase rent once a year for residential houses and once in two years for commercial premises.

This will be the first time the government will be seeking to regulate rent.

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