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Relief for tenants as landlord waives rent

By Harrison Kivisu
Thursday, May 7th, 2020
Geofry Juma, the first Mombasa landlord who has waived May rent for his tenants. Photo: Ndegwa Gathungu
In summary

A businessman has become the first landlord in Mombasa to waive May rent for his tenants to ease their suffering amid the difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Godfrey Juma,a landlord from Majaoni area in Shanzu said his decision was prompted by the fact that many employees had been forced to stay home, some without work.

This happens as some companies have asked their employees to take compulsory unpaid leave, while others have introduced mandatory pay cuts.

Juma says he wants to help his tenants because he has stayed with them for a long time and knows their challenges.

The houses are a one bedroom and two bedrooms he has invested in.

"Everybody is worried about this pandemic that is ravaging countries, including the superpowers. Following the government directives, my tenants are staying at home for their safety, which makes it hard for them to earn," he said.

He has waved May rent and the tenants will only be required to pay next month's rent but if the situation persists he may be forced to extend the waiver until July, 2020.

Juma,who also doubles as the operations manager at Bahari Beach resort,said his rental house at Majaoni,in Shanzu comprises of six one bedrooms houses each going for sh 13,500.

Each earns him an income of Sh 74,000 per month since he owns the rental houses and a shop extension within Majaoni area.

"Money is not everything. All we want is safety for people and put a smile on their faces during difficult times. I will lose close to Sh100,000 but at least I would have helped my tenants to be comfortable when they stay at home, " Juma said.

He has urged other landlords who are willing to waive rents for their tenants to do so.

"People are really suffering and I think people should be understanding,if other landlord's can follow the same,"said Juma.

Flovian Kunga, a tenant,who works as cloths seller, welcomed the decision, saying he would have struggled to pay his rent.She pays a rent of about sh 12,500 which has been waved.

“I was worried when government directed that we stay home for our safety. At least the landlord has reduced the burden of rent and the only problem now is food,”Kunga said.

Another tenant Emma Blessings who pays a 13,500 rent and a sh 5,000 shop rent all has been waved.

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