A Kenyan landlord in Kinangop Nyandarua County has been commended by netizens online after waiving two months' rent for both his residential and commercial units over Coronavirus(COVID-19) in the country.
Speaking to Citizen, Michael Munene said that he understands the economic situation since the pandemic hit the country; that's why he decided that his tenants won't pay rent for two months, March and April.
Mr Munene has 28 residential houses that he charges Sh3,000 each and six commercial units that he rents out for Sh5,000 a month.
"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's why I have decided not to charge them for the next two months," said Munene.
The landlord added that he agreed with those who could pay the rent to do so by the 10th of the month instead of 7th.
"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," he added.
Munene's decision comes days after the government asked businesses and companies to allow their employees to work from home or other go on unpaid leave over the pandemic.
His kind gestures attracted a lot of attention from the online fraternity, with most Kenyans congratulating his while come asked for other landlords to do the same.
Samba Paul says, "Michael Munene the Landlord from Nyandarua God bless you abundantly for the good gesture. Nairobi landlords should follow suit.."
His sentiments were echoed by Mickreen Adhiambo, who says, "The best definition of humanity is in that landlord from Nyandarua Michael Munene. Waiving his tenants' two months' rent, understanding the economic challenges coming with #coronavirusinKenya may he be immensely blessed."
Josh Moch added, "It's good to know that within all this pandemic, there are still people with pure hearts helping the less privileged."
On Wednesday, March 18, Gatundu South Member of Parliament Moses Kuria said he was disappointed that no one has appealed to landlords on rent as the number of coronaviruses (COVID-19) in the country continue to rise.
The legislator took to his Facebook page to lament on the issue minutes after Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge stated the measures that will be applied to shield the economy from the pandemic.
"Very disappointed that CBK Governor has not deemed it fit to lower CBR or cut the CRR. Let's hope the MPC is meeting this afternoon for the same."
"Equally disappointed no one appealed to landlords to be more understanding and accommodating in these extraordinary times. Anyway, God is mightier than Corona Virus," said Moses Kuria.