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To pay or to not pay rent amid COVID-19 crisis? Govt answers

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – Since the COVID-19 pandemic swept into the country and created chaos in the economy, many people have been left suffering due to joblessness, pay cuts or forced unpaid leave.

The question of whether to pay rent, in full amount, partial amounts or no paying has been raised severally on social media.

Some have argued that, with most jobs being closed, landlords should not demand rent money. Others hope their landlords can forgo asking for rent until the pandemic clears.

While addressing the media in Nairobi, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, who has been at the center of the fight against the virus had this to say; “landlords should be a bit sensitive towards tenants and remember that people are not in the situation where they always are.”

He added, “however, we need to know that even landlords have bank loans that they need to pay up. It is a chain of events that will need all of us to be humane towards one another.”

Earlier this month, Central Organization Trade Union (COTU) Secretary General, Francis Atwoli asked landlords to exempt Kenyans from paying rent for the next three months.

Atwoli said the Union will appeal to the Government to ensure rental issues for the low income and lower-middle-income earners are considered for the next three months.

“I would appeal to employers, entrepreneurs and landlords to heed to our call that for the coming three months, let them not ask rents from poor Kenyans who have mostly been sent on unpaid leaves,” he told a local TV station.

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