Heartwarming: Kiambu landlord slashes rent for tenants to cushion them from COVID-19 aftereffects

James Karanja, a landlord in Kiambu. [Photo courtesy]

Despite having an apartment block which he collects a huge chunk of money from every month, James Karanja too can feel the after-shock of COVID-19 outbreak.

Inspired by this, Karanja, a landlord in Kiambu’s Mugumo area has since asked his 20 tenants to pay half rent for April as a way to cushion them from the hard economic times occasioned the outbreak of coronavirus.

Karanja’s apartment houses two-bedroomed and one-bedroomed units for Sh15,000 and Sh10,000 respectively. In a text message to his tenants, he asked them to pay half the rent – Sh7,500 for two-bedroom and Sh5,000 for the one-bedroom.

According to the Standard, Karanja said despite being a landlord and a businessman, he understands the plight of his tenants at this time when the economy is seemingly sliding into repression.

“I am human, and for the last few days, nobody has come to my yard to ask about the construction materials let alone buying. I figured out it is the same for everyone including my tenants,” reckoned Karanja.

His tenants have since welcomed this partial waive saying it is well-thought-out and timely.

Margaret Wambui, a single mother of three who runs a mini-sized grocery said this is the best news she has gotten so far.

“I am a single mother of three. I sell tomatoes and onions in Kiambu, I have to pay fees for my three children in high school. Now that rent has been reduced, I expect Kiambu Governor James Nyoro to cushion traders like me from tax”, she said.

Duncan Nduta ecstatically thanked Karanja saying he can now clear an outstanding fee balance at KCA University where he studies.

A week ago, Michael Munene from Nyandarua waived two months rent for his tenants.

Munene whose flat has 28 units said that it was time for him to help his tenants come off the hard times since they have also helped him for a long time.

“They have stayed in the houses for a long time and have been very cooperative in paying the rent. We are all struggling to stay alive. All we should be focused on right now is food. I have written letters to all my tenants and signed the agreement with them that they should not pay rent for two months,” he remarked.