The recent move by the Tax-man to tighten his grip on defiant landlords who have been evading property taxes will see rent increased as landlords pass on this additional costs to their tenants.
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The proposed Landlord and Tenant Bill, yet to be discussed by Cabinet, will force landlords to get a permit first from relevant authorities before they can hike house rent. The permit will only be issued to landlords who have valid reason for increasing house rent. This is expected to cushion Kenyans from exploitation by property owners.
While this bill could protect tenants from increase in rent, especially now as the tax collector attempts to recover property taxes from defiant landlords, I tend to believe that it is too early to start rejoicing. This is why:
Considering the fact that most landlords are our Legislators, it is them who have the final say in regard to the Landlord and Tenant Bill. Chances are, this clause will be amended to safeguard their selfish interests.
Secondly, the enactment of this bill could be delayed giving landlords adequate time to hike rent as high as they would prefer. Currently, landlords can increasing rent as they wish, with no regard to their tenants.
Let’s hope that this clause will be implemented and in the long run safeguard the tenants’ interest as it is originally intended to do.