A landlord in Kinangop, Nyandarua County, has waived two months’ residential houses charges and commercial property rent for his tenants, saying he understands that due to the coronavirus crisis, the occupants could be facing a hard time raising the monthly accommodation fee.
Michael Munene has revealed that the commercial properties he has are of two kinds: residential units and commercial units.
He says he charges Ksh3, 000 per unit for 28 residential allocations and Ksh5, 000 per unit for his six commercial stores. That means Munene earns Ksh84, 000 per month from the residential units, and Ksh30, 000 monthly from the commercial units. In total, from monthly house rent, Munene takes home Ksh114, 000 for lending out his property. Assuming that the units are fully occupied, that would mean Munene has surrendered Ksh228, 000 in the forgone rent income.
Following Munene’s announcement Saturday, the tenants won’t pay rent for the months of March and April 2020. The notice written in Kikuyu language announcing the decision, was plastered at the entrance of the one-storey commercial property.
Munene told Citizen Television on Saturday, March 21, that he has an agreement with the tenants that they should settle their house rent by the 7th day of every month.
“I however allow the ones who can’t settle the rent on deadline to do so by the 10th day of every new month,” he said.
“Following the coronavirus outbreak, it is evident that the economy has taken a beating. Kenyans are struggling to raise money for survival. My tenants are usually very loyal, and most of them settle their rent on time. I reflected on the current situation, and told myself: ‘Even if none [of my tenants] has ever absconded paying house rent, I understand that the coronavirus outbreak could make it difficult for some to raise the rent on time’. I wouldn’t want a situation where any of my tenants takes a loan to settle house rent,” said Munene.
“Most of my tenants work in flower farms, and I heard that some could lose their jobs soon. I looked at the situation, and decided to waive the two months’ rent.”
Munene said should the coronavirus outbreak in Kenya reach crisis levels, he would consider waiving rent further for his tenants.
“I would assess the situation and see whether I can extend the mercy period,” he said.