A section of Royale Hotel.

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The family of the late athletics boss Isaiah Kiplagat could be evicted from their Karen home after a tribunal ruled that they have no claim to the property.

In an order issued on December 23 by Business Premises Rent Tribunal Chairman Mbichi Mboroki, Kiplagat's family has been told to hand over the property to Sarah Aleyo who runs a salon in a hotel inside the family's compound.

The family owns the hotel and the house through a company called Royale Health Club Karen. Ms Aleyo is a tenant in on of the hotel rooms.

Ignored objection

The tribunal chairman directed the OCPD of the Lang’ata Police Station to ensure that Ms Aleyo takes possession of the entire family land and house. He did not confine his orders to the disputed single room Aleyo occupies.

Royale Health Club Karen has now been stopped from evicting, sub-leasing, portioning, demolishing, disconnecting electricity or dealing in any way with Aleyo's tenancy at the premise.

“The OCPD Lang’ata is to ensure that Aleyo and all her agents obtain quiet occupation and possession of the property known as 1160/381 Karen,” ruled Mr Mboroki.

However, according to the hotel’s manager, James Gathirimu, the tribunal chairman ignored a preliminary objection they filed.

Mr Gathirimu said Mboroki issued the order allowing the tenant to take full possession of the family land, despite the fact that the dispute relates to a single room.

Documents filed before the tribunal show that the dispute started in August 2017 when the hotel management wrote a notice informing Aleyo to vacate the room for failing to pay rent.

They, however, reached an agreement for her to occupy the room until March 2018. But Aleyo failed to vacate the room, forcing the management to lock it.

The late Isaiah Kiplagat.

“Directors of Royale Karen Hotel decided to lock the salon after she breached a notice to vacate in March 2018. The hotel decided to repossess the space to construct an administrative office,” the documents filed read.

Aleyo, however, also filed a suit before the tribunal and obtained an order stopping her eviction. After the orders elapsed, the hotel management decided to kick her out in November and started renovating the room.

She again filed another suit before the tribunal, saying she had been illegally evicted from the premises, leading to the orders issued by Mboroki on December 23.

Lease agreement

In its defence filed before the tribunal, the hotel management said that Aleyo is a stranger to the hotel since she never entered into any lease agreement with it.

“The property was first leased out to Northwest Holdings as the lead tenants who then sub-leased it to her. Since we terminated the lease agreement with Northwest, Royale Health Club is not her landlord and she cannot have any claim against us,” said Gathirimu.

He further submitted that Aleyo did not disclose the fact that her tenancy agreement was with Northwest Holdings and that since they had left the premises, she had no right to continue operating within the hotel.

He added that Kiplagat’s family has been in quiet possession of the land since 1989 and built their family home on part of the 2.5-acre property.

“The order says the woman should take possession of the entire land and not the salon space. She did not even produce any evidence of paying rent or a lease agreement with the hotel’s management to justify her claim,” said Gathirimu in his response filed in court.

The suit is scheduled for hearing on January 15, 2020.