The bill proposes that landlords and tenants agree on the fair amount of rent based on the market rent and prescribed services.
Tenants will also be protected from the arbitrary increase of rent by landlords with the bill requiring landlords to provide a signed explanation entailing reasons for the increase, which should only happen after 12 months after the last increase for residential and two years for business premises.
Moreover, landlords will be required to give tenants at least a 90-day written notice of the intention to increase rent, detailing the amount of new rent.
Increased rent will have to reflect in an increase in services, undertaken capital expenditure, or inflation of economic trends.
Landlords will also have to give a one-year notice before evicting tenants in residential premises and a two-year notice for business premises.
If landlords fail to provide the prescribed services, they will subsequently have to reduce the amount they charge tenants in rent.
If a landlord wishes to decrease rent for tenants, however, it will have to be proportional to a decrease in services provided.
The bill also requires landlords to keep records of rent of the premises and provide the tenant with a copy failure to which they will be liable to a fine of one month’s rent.
Presenting fake or misleading material in respect to the agreements with the tenants will lead to a fine of Ksh 20,000.
Tenants will be expected to pay rent in advance even as landlords maintain responsibilities for repair, maintenance, cleaning and lighting of common areas of the building.
The Bill, which was pushed by the Majority Leader of the National Assembly, Amos Kimunya, seeks to balance the interests of landlords and tenants by ensuring landlords earn a reasonable income while protecting the tenants.