, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 15 – Tenants living in the over 16,000 county houses owe the Nairobi County Sh224 million in arrears.
This was revealed during a committee meeting which was questioning the dwindling revenue collection from house rents, at a time when the county has missed its target in revenue collection.
House rent which is one of the major revenue streams, failed to meet its target, prompting the committee to question the dismal performance.
The committee Chair Robert Mbatia sought to know why such amounts had accumulated yet no action was being taken.
Nairobi Director of Hosing Marion Rono told the committee that the debt had accrued for a period of six years, saying this has been majorly contributed by defaulters.
Rono said most of the defaulters complain of social issues like lack of money and sickness, with Woodley, Kariobangi and Maringo leading in arrears.
“For example in Maringo estate there are 2,200 self-contained houses where from July to date, the county was supposed to have collected Sh24.8 million but we have only realized Sh14 million,” said Rono.
She told the committee that a certain tenant in Kariobangi where the house is Sh7,000 a month owes the county Sh285,000 translating to close to three years of not paying rent.
Another tenant in Woodley owes the County Sh500,000.
The Committee’s Vice Chair Patrick Karani asked why they allowed the loss of such huge revenue due to weak enforcement.
Rono said most of the times they are forced to conduct evictions to recover some of these arrears but they are met with opposition from politicians who intervene barring the evictions.
She also stated ongoing court cases as part of the issues impeding them from collecting their dues.
“In old and new Ngara the tenants took us to court after we increased the rent from Sh4,000 to Sh8,000 and the tenants have not been paying due to a delayed court process,” she added.
She however stated that they are committed towards recovering the arrears within a period of six years.