The Landlords and Tenants Association of Kenya (LATAK) has launched a helpline where complaints on harassments and evictions can be channelled for intervention.
During a press conference on Wednesday, April 15, a shortcode 20777 was unveiled where netizens can send text messages such as “Landlords” or “Tenants” to seek aid amid COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Consequently, the association indicated that they had scheduled response teams across the country who will reach out following the text message.
The aim of the move according to Justus Juma, the Justice Freedom Party chair was to ease the financial burden of paying rent until normalcy was restored.
“LATAK directs all tenants not to pay rent until when Uhuru Kenyatta orders businesses to resume normal operations. For Kenyans to stay in their houses because this is a collective responsibility for everybody, we all have to play our part, if we play our part correctly we can defeat this thing within three months and we will go back to normalcy,” Juma spoke on behalf of the association members.
Two weeks ago, the association had called for a three-month rent waiver amid Coronavirus menace in the country with landlords urged to offer the rent waiver for the months of April, May and June.
Further, the association had called upon the government to play a role aimed at assisting landlords that are servicing loans from commercial banks. They wanted the government to direct banks to give a six-month moratorium to landlords servicing loans.
In a different statement by the Clergy Association of Kenya on March 27, the government was also urged to ask direct landlords to waive rent for three months citing that the move would cushion many netizens from the tough economic impacts of COVID-19.
“The situation on the ground is tough for many families. Businesses have been affected and there is no cash flow. We ask the government to advise all landlords in Kenya to allow tenants living on rentals to stay at least for three months without being harassed so that they can deal with the COVID-19 shock,” read the statement in part.