As the coronavirus pandemic bites and economies around the world take a setback, for some, hope rises from within.
Tenants of a building in Kinangop, Nyandarua County can now rest easy after their landlord, Michael Munene, waived their rent money for two months.
Speaking to Citizen TV on Saturday, Munene (pictured) said that he understands the economic strain that comes with the pandemic and as such, has resolved to lift the burden off his tenants’ shoulders at least for two months.
"When Coronavirus came to Kenya, life became unbearable and some of them could not afford to raise the rent early enough resorting to borrowing. That is why I have decided not to charge them for the next two months,” Munene said.
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The tenants, who occupy 28 residential units at the one storey building, pay monthly rent of Sh3,000 each. This means they will now part with only Sh1,000 each for the months of March and April.
Munene said he has an understanding with his tenants, that whenever one moves in, he makes sure to inquire when they are able to pay rent.
“When someone tells me that they will get money on the 7th of every month, I then set 10th as the date of payment,” he said.
Munene says that his tenants are mostly loyal and would want to avoid a situation where one has to take a loan to afford rent.
“I noticed that with this crisis, even looking for food is difficult. I could see my tenants were suffering,” Munene said, adding that if the pandemic persists, he will still relieve them of rent payment.
As covid-19 ails the globe and leaders calling for lockdown in many countries, most Kenyans are pleading for rent freeze as a measure to curb the economic crisis from the pandemic.
Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi also called on the Government to reduce taxes and regulate prices of essential commodities to cushion citizens from the effects of the coronavirus disease.
In a statement, Mudavadi said the global pandemic has dealt an economic blow to the majority of Kenyans, "who are struggling to meet their monthly rent, mortgages, bank loans, monthly bills, and other recurrent concerns."
The ANC leader said the State should also find means of protecting citizens and businesses from eviction by landlords and against bank loan interests, "in these difficult and uncertain times."