The days of serial rent defaulters are numbered if landlords adopt new innovation where those who do not pay are posted online.
The idea seeks to call out defaulters with the hope that their next landlord will demand they clear with their previous one before they take up occupancy.
Dubbed ‘Rent Bureau’, the plan is to ensure once a tenant vacates a house, their account indicates whether they have cleared their rent and if otherwise, a prospective landlord will have the discretion to rent out their property to them or deny them. The scheme will target any tenant who pays rent above Sh2,000 for listing in case they default.
Rent Bureau Director Daniel Wachira, who developed the app, said it seeks to protect landlords from tenants who default.
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“I realised that tenants are more protected than landlords and many a time, they have no recourse once a tenant leaves with their money and refuses to pay; this is why we have developed this platform to help landlords and property managers recoup their money,” he said.
Currently, the legal agreement between a tenant and landlord is what can be used to sue a tenant in case he or she defaults. Harold Ayodo, an advocate of the High Court said before tenancy an agreement that states the terms and conditions, is signed.
“In the face of such an agreement, if a tenant defaults then they can be taken to court and compelled to pay but where no such agreement exists it becomes difficult,” said Mr Ayodo.
Wachira, a property manager, said the online platform is like a credit reference bureau but with slightly different features because of the nature of business. He said the aim of the bureau is to link landlords, tenants and property.
“Through the platform, landlords are able to list their tenants and where they are and whenever a tenant moves, the new landlord can check the system on the status of clearance with the previous landlord,” Wachira said.
Jeremiah Kariuki, a landlord in Eastlands, Nairobi said the idea is timely. “This is the best way through which tenants can uphold their obligations, I am planning to join the bureau,” he said.
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