Landlord on the spot for removing roof in Sh3,500 rent row with tenant

Rusty corrugated iron sheet [Photo: Shutterstock]

A landlord in Nakuru is on the spot after he tore off the roof of his tenant’s one-roomed house over delayed payment of Sh3,500.

Eric Mbuhia said his landlord, Francis Njuguna, confronted him over the rent arrears last Friday and also demanded this month’s rent.

Mbuhia, 35, a father of two, lives at Sewage within Nakuru County.

“The landlord came to the plot infuriated over delayed rent. He demanded that I pay him the Sh3,500 plus Sh2,000 for April’s rent,” he said.

Mbuhia said he pleaded in vain with the landlord to be given a few more days to be able to pay the amount.

“I told him that I have been having problems and my income from my work was low due to the current coronavirus threat that has affected businesses but he demanded his money,” he said.

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Mbuhia depends on construction jobs and also operates a boda boda, which have been heavily hit by the pandemic crisis.

He said Njuguna left only to return with two people whom he ordered to take off part of the roof. He then locked the iron sheets in his store.

“A friend even offered to pay him the Sh3,500, but he declined it. He said he no longer wanted the money and he only wanted me to leave the house,” said the tenant.

Mbuhia, who has lived in his rented room for over two years, said the past three days have been hard as he, his wife and children have been exposed to severe weather conditions.

Scorching sun

“The weather has not been kind to us. We have been exposed to the scorching sun, the wind, cold nights and rain. My children, who are now at home, are the most affected. My television was also damaged by the rains on Monday,” he said.

Mbuhia said it will be difficult to move to another rental house since landlords are not allowing new tenants as a precaution measure to prevent spread of coronavirus.

When contacted, Njuguna admitted that he removed Mbuhia’s roof after he failed to pay rent over the past few months.

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Njuguna said even before the virus struck, Mbuhia owed him and the pandemic should not be used as an excuse for delayed payment.

He said their differences started in October last year when Mbuhia started paying rent in bits.

“Even before coronavirus struck, we had issues with the tenant. He has caused me many problems and I don’t want him at my plot anymore,” said Njuguna.