CORONAVIRUS

Landlords could reduce rent for their tenants

In Summary

• Over 30 percent of Kenyans are falling behind with their rent payments, according to the KNBS

• Landlords are unlikely to find next tenants who can pay if they evict their existing tenants

A couple that spent the night in the cold after the landlady forced them to vacate.
A couple that spent the night in the cold after the landlady forced them to vacate.
Image: PHILOMENA KILONZO

Over 30 percent of Kenyan households could not pay their May rent on time, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. In April, 21 percent could not pay so the percentage is increasing.

The same KNBS report said that over 43 percent of the active labour force are not working but only 9 per cent have received a waiver or rent relief.

There are no winners in the Covid crisis, only losers. The government will lose tax revenue but pay out billions in support. Companies have no revenue but still have to pay reduced salaries. And landlords have tenants who cannot afford to pay.

 

Landlords have to accept that they are not a special case. All Kenyans will suffer before the coronavirus comes under control. Landlords have mortgages and bills to pay but they will not find new tenants if they kick out existing tenants who are defaulting. Whatever happens, landlords will lose out.

Landlords need to be flexible with their tenants. For instance, they could offer a temporary 50 percent discount on rent until the Covid crisis is over and people are back to work again.

Quote of the day: "On the field, everyone is equal."

Roger Milla
The Cameroonian footballer was born on May 20, 1952