, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 18 – Over 300 traders at the Jericho market on Saturday received lease documents from the City Council of Nairobi to prove stall ownership.
Town Clerk Philip Kisia said the 99-year leases will be backdated to 1978 and will enable traders go about their businesses without any harassment.
He further stated that the leases will empower the traders to gain access to loans and other financial benefits which will improve their living standards.
“For a very long time and in particular markets and houses, the council has failed to provide leases and you know minus a lease, you cannot transact anything, you cannot borrow, you do not even own the property,” he said.
“This particular market was established in 1978 and since then, the traders have been going to City Hall trying to get ownership documents and today we have issued over 300 leases to the owners of these stalls,” he stated.
The town clerk said the council will also issue leases for traders in Umoja, Kayole and Kenyatta markets.
“We are going to issue leases to other markets so that these people are able to borrow from banks and expand their businesses. It will also be a sign of ownership because you know minus an ownership document, it becomes very difficult to convince anybody that you own that particular property.”
“That is what we have done today and I think we owe them an apology but I am happy that it has happened,” he said.
Speaking during the event, Nairobi mayor George Aladwa described the occasion as a milestone in the city council’s history.
“We are happy to see that the promise that was given to the traders has been fulfilled and we hope that it will help to improve their lives,” Aladwa said.
A lease is a contractual arrangement calling for the lessee or user to pay the lessor or owner for use of an asset.
A rental agreement is a lease in which the asset is a tangible property.
A lease can be for a fixed period of time called the term of the lease but depending on the terms of the lease may be terminated sooner.
If an owner has surrendered possession to another, then any interference with the quiet enjoyment of the property by the tenant in lawful possession is itself unlawful.
Similar principles apply to sub-leasing, that is the leasing by a tenant in possession to a sub-tenant.
The right to sub-lease can be expressly prohibited by the main lease, sometimes referred to as a “master lease.”