Couple and two daughters left homeless in Ruai after landlord removes roof, door
A family has been left homeless after the landlord allegedly sent youths to evict them from Dune area, Ruai where they have been living for five years.
“Very early in the morning while we were still sleeping, we heard people on the rooftop. They were struggling to cut the ceiling. They succeeded in creating an opening and got into the house, unlocked the door, removed and carried it away,” said Elizabeth Mugure.
It all started in 2020 after the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Victor Mwangi, formerly a manager at Skatters — a famous night club in Thika — lost his job.
“When I lost my job,I assured my landlord that I will not be able to pay my rent on 7th of every month as I don’t have a fixed source of income. But what I knew is that the house was not mine and I had to work hard to pay rent every month however late, for which I have done since then with authority from him,” Mwangi said.
According to Elizabeth and Victor, all hell broke loose almost a year later when the landlord expressed that he was uncomfortable with the new arrangement.
He sent them a text message demanding that they pay rent on time or vacate the premises.
“My husband answered the text saying that he would pay the rent when he gets cash. This reply seemingly annoyed the landlord who said that Mwangi was being rude,” Elizabeth told Citizen Digital.
According to the couple, they got a notice from the landlord on March 11, 2021 requiring that they vacate the one-bedroom house within a month’s time.
They said it came as shock, forcing them to seek redress at the Rent Dispute Tribunal where they got a temporary injunction restraining the landlord from evicting them until the case is heard and determined.
The tribunal directed them to be paying rent until that time, which they said they did.
Digital bank transaction messages seen by Citizen Digital indicate that the couple deposited Ksh. 17,065 for rent payment of March and April to the account of James Macharia Wambugu, the landlord.
When contacted, Mr. Wambugu confirmed that he had indeed evicted the couple for ‘being a nuisance’ in the plot as they were ‘disturbing the rest of the tenants’.
“Huyo kijana anasumbua watu wengine, na hataki kulipa rent, hajalipa rent ya May,” he said on phone.
When Citizen Digital asked the landlord for a live interview, he said to check further details from tribunal files and then hang up the phone.
According to Mr. Wycliffe Omaiyo, an advocate of the High Court, the landlord can be prosecuted in a court of law.
“Landlords are allowed to do such forceful evictions if they have an order from the tribunal; otherwise, just showing up is an infringement to privacy. The fact that he is the landlord does not allow him to walk in and out of a tenant house whenever he feels like. Currently, the law governing landlord tenant relationship is too lenient and is the reason there is a proposed draft bill by Leader of Majority Amos Kimunya to enhance punishment for a misbehaving tenant or landlord ,” the advocate said.
The couple and their two daughters are currently being hosted by a good samaritan in Ruai by the name Safi Mohammed.
Mrs. Mohamed urged landlords to be more humane saying a lot of people have been affected economically following the COVID-19 pandemic.
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