TENANT RIGHTS IN KENYA
Do you know your basic rights as a tenant?
The majority of tenants do not know their rights. They find a good apartment and move in with the terms given simply because the house excited them. It is understandable, the house-hunting process can be quite tedious. However, it is important to know your rights as a tenant so that you know how to handle arising issues in the best approach. For example, tenants may fall victim to bad landlords or agents who want to take advantage of them.
To avoid such occurrences, this article provides you with information you need to know about your rights as a tenant.
Discussed below are some of the rights that should not be compromised as long as your lease agreement stands.
There are two types of tenant rights that you should be aware of;
- Tenant rights when you move in.
- Tenant rights when you move out.
Tenant Rights When You Move In
This is a key area you need to familiarize yourself with as a tenant. This will eliminate any cases of dispute with your landlord or agent whenever an issue arises.
Right to Privacy
Once a tenant moves in, the landlord or managing agents are not allowed to enter the tenant’s house without consent. This would be termed as invading the tenant’s privacy. The only exemption would be in case of an emergency.
Right to Safety
The landlord is supposed to ensure that his/her tenants are safe at all times when they are within the apartment. It is the mandate of the landlord to ensure that there is a security guard in areas where applicable and even better, install CCTV cameras and safety equipment like fire extinguishers in the apartment.
Right to live in a habitable house
The house must be habitable and ensure the comfort of the tenant. The landlord must ensure that the services expected by the tenant are delivered as promised at the time of lease commencement. Services like water, electricity, garbage collection and cleanliness of the apartment must be supplied as promised.
Right to Property Maintenance
If you come across something that needs attention or a broken item, it is your right to report to the landlord and request repair and maintenance where applicable. Note that this does not apply where the tenant does the damage or takes part directly or indirectly. In this case, the landlord may opt to share the cost with the tenant or have the tenant replace the destroyed items.
Tenant Rights When You Move Out
In cases where you will be required to move out, you are still entitled to various rights of a tenant including the following;
Right to Get a Refund of Your Deposit.
Many cases have been reported, where landlords fail to refund some amount of the deposit. It is your right as a tenant to get it back after a duration of the time stated in your agreement. If he or she fails to return the full amount, you should request a list showing how the other portion of your deposit was spent.
Right to terminate your lease agreement
It is your right as a tenant to terminate your lease agreement if you need to. This is done by a formal letter with a notice of not less than one month or as indicated in the lease agreement.
Right to Know the Cause of an Eviction.
If your landlord decides to present to you an eviction notice, it should be accompanied by clearly stated reasons of the cause of action. In most scenarios, possible causes of eviction are stated in your lease agreement.
If you violate any of them, your landlord should give you at least one chance to fix your shortcomings before giving you the eviction notice.
As Fanaka Property Managers we ensure that all the tenant rights are upheld. With assistance from our legal office, we work closely with our landlords and tenants to ensure that this is implemented in all our apartments. We care about you!