A Senate proceeding/parliament.go.ke
NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 6- The Senate has invited the public to give their views on the Landlord and Tenants Bill, 2021.
The Bill which seeks to protect tenants from unprecedented changes introduced by landlords was introduced on February 12 2021 sponsored by Majority Leader Amos Kimunya.
Kimunya introduced the Landlord and Tenants Bill 2021, seeking to overhaul Kenya’s existing legislation governing the rights of the respective parties in both residential and commercial property.
If implemented the proposed law will allow the government to cap rent increases on both commercial and residential premises.
The bill further proposes legal measures be taken against a landlord who evicts or subjects a tenant to annoyance in a bid to compel them to vacate.
“No landlord shall, without legal process seize tenants’ property for default in the payment of rent or for breach of any other obligation of the tenant,” the draft reads in part.
Under the proposed law rent can only be increased after 12 months for residential premises and 24 months for business premises. This is from the commencement of tenancy or from the date of the last increase in rent under the same tenancy.
The increase also has to be justified and should be based only on capital expenditure incurred, increase in land rates of the property or the inflation rates in the country’s economy.
Additionally, for an increase of rent to be valid, the landlord has to serve a 90-day notice to the tenant of the intention to increase rent. Failure to serve the notice will render the increase ineffective.
The tenant also has a right to object to the notice given by the landlord within 30 days or it will be deemed an acceptance of the increase in the rent payable.
The Bill, however, allows landlords to breach the law in case of a sharp rise in rates paid to counties or other government agencies.
Under the proposed law, landlords will be spared from complying with the law if they start offering additional security, garbage collection, or home internet services. They also have a window to breach should they implement upgrades on the commercial and residential buildings.
Kimunya further proposes that landlords should be compelled to keep signed records of all the rent paid and share the report with the tenants.
Failure to keep the accounts could earn the landlord a fine not exceeding one month rent.
The Bill is currently at the Senate following approval by the National Assembly, paving way for the country’s first attempt to regulate rent.
Kenyans have ten days to submit their views on the Landlord and Tenant Bill, 2021.