Tenants in Kisumu county houses to pay Sh1,000 for extensions
By Rushdie Oudia | October 11th 2014
Tenants in Kisumu County houses will pay Sh1,000 per month for every structure extended in their compound if the Finance Bill 2014 Bill is passed.
The county government seems to have softened its stand on the existence of the extensions they claimed to be generating a lot of cash for tenants in county houses.
Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) said it was unfair that tenants in these houses pay less rent yet they sub-let houses and charge exorbitant rates.
Some tenants only pay Sh2,000 to the county but erect structures in the compound for which they charge twice as much for each.
One who has four of such structures, for instance, makes Sh16,000 extra cash every month.
Kaloleni/Shaurimoyo ward representative Prisca Auma said paying rent for the extensions was better than demolishing them altogether.
She, however, said the fee to be charged should be determined after consultations between the county government and the tenants.
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"The rent should be agreed upon by those who are affected," said Auma, in whose ward most of the county houses lie.
Nominated MCA Aslam Khan called on the county government to refurbish old county houses before rates are increased.
Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma had indicated that those living in the houses had established extensions using iron sheets and it was unfair that they charge their tenants higher than what they pay as monthly rent.
He also called on tenants who have retired to leave the houses for the working population.
Ranguma said the move to increase rent for county houses was to correct a historical error in the county where the current rates do not match the market prices in the area.
In the Bill, the rent for a two-bedroomed house in Lumumba Ondiek, Arina and Makasembo estates will be Sh4,000.
For many years, the defunct councils were collecting Sh2,000 every month.
In Kibuye estate, tenants will part with Sh8,000 up from Sh4,000 in the past years. A three-bedroomed house at Kodhek estate which was Sh4,000 before the devolved system now costs Sh10,000.
Arina, which has four phases and a total of 525 units of two bedroomed houses, will cost Sh6,000 up from Sh3, 000, while tenants at Anderson Estate houses will part with Sh2,000.
A one-bedroomed house in Nyando Nyandiga Estate (Maseno) will fetch Sh4,000 per month.
The county government has maintained these charges despite a court order filed by residents of Lumumba and Kibuye Estates contesting the increment.
Lumumba Estate Residents Association Secretary John Odenyo welcomed the move to charge for the extensions, claiming it is better than demolishing them.
Mr Odenyo said this was welcome since many tenants use the extensions as poultry houses and it would be a loss if they were demolished.
"The county government keeps increasing rates without consulting us and I can't remember the last time they undertook repairs or maintenance," said Odenyo.
His Arina Estate counterpart Oketch Orero however said the county government does not have the right to increase rent since the tenants do not pay the county government of Kisumu.
Orero said they have been paying their rent to the National Housing Corporation (NHC) and not the county government.
"We have been paying rent to the housing corporation and therefore will not abide by what our landlord has not told us," said Orero.
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