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Maisha ni ngumu! Landlord, tenants relationship on the spot

The aspiration to reside in an aesthetically pleasing home is a common desire for many.

When people experience career advancements, they often upgrade and relocate to more contemporary, comfortable neighborhoods.

While seeking comfort is reasonable, the substantial cost of living has led to an upsurge in various expenses, notably housing rents.

A significant portion of the population toils diligently to cover their rent, leaving little for other expenses, resulting in many individuals living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to manage their bills.

Survival for most is becoming increasingly challenging.

Phelix Ochieng’, a resident of Nairobi, says, “There’s nothing as aggravating as a landlord knocking on your door, accompanied by a barrage of disparaging comments, making it seem as though you’re a habitual defaulter. I prioritize rent over food and school fees. Many landlords create such disturbances that even disrupt the peace of one’s children. It’s truly distressing. Currently, I’m simply working to pay my bills, and in case of emergencies, I have to resort to borrowing, which is a deeply disheartening situation.”

On the other hand, Edwin Otieno, also a Nairobi resident, shares that, “I have found myself evading my landlord because I simply lack the funds to meet my rent. I had to relocate my family to shags because I couldn’t afford to maintain a larger house. For me, it’s easier to strive on my own rather than live with my family. I have two children, and to escape the constant turmoil with the landlord, I chose to stay in Nairobi alone making it more convenient to relocate when needed without excessive hassle.”

Some landlords have even resorted to holding the keys to the main gate, preventing tenants from leaving at night.

Nonetheless, many tenants still manage to find ways to avoid their rent obligations.

Certain Nairobians have devised tactics like returning home very late or leaving the house in the early hours of the morning to elude their landlords, not because they are unwilling to pay but because they lack the means to do so.

A significant number of young people have chosen to seek refuge in the city’s slums, which continue to expand due to their growing appeal to jobless Kenyans amid the high cost of living.

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