The following list represents some of the most popular sources of landlord and tenant disputes in Kenya:
1. Condition of property-Holes in roofs, cracked windows, doors that don’t seal or any other structural issue or damage to any part of a rental property due to deterioration, lack of maintenance or mistreatment can quickly become an issue of greater urgency for both renters and property owners, depending on the season and weather conditions.
2. Utilities-Whether turned off due to lack of payment or inoperable due to damage, problems with plumbing, water service, electrical or other utilities serve as frequent sources of dispute between landlords and tenants in need of resolution.
3. Safety concerns-Whether the lock on door doesn’t work, keys are not working, windows are broken, or the garage door isn’t operating properly, safety and security regarding the rental property are high priorities and necessary to address quickly for both tenants and landlords.
4. Appliance issues-The common area lighting/electrical system isn’t working, the drainage system is blocked or broken, the elevator is “inakwama” and won’t run properly, or even the buttons are not responding once pressed. Timely repair or replacement will certainly be of paramount importance to a renter, while issues of cause or fault can cause a landlord to take pause. The result can be conflict as responsibility and scheduling for repair or replacement cannot be agreed upon.
5. Mold-Environmental factors relating to health, such as mold, are serious issues and require quick resolution. Testing may need to be done, a property manager such as Zuripo Property Specialists may need to be notified or a tenant may be concerned they did not have prior notification of an existing problem.
6. Pests-Neither tenant nor landlord want them. Issues can arise if tenants feel they were not notified prior to signing their lease or if property owners feel the infestation was the result of tenant behavior. While no one likes to deal with insect infestation, it is necessary to address the problem quickly and appropriately.
7. Dispute over rent-It could be that rent payments are not being paid until other issues are addressed (withholding rent), not going through or rental rates are increased. Whatever the cause, rent issues will certainly cause conflict and threaten the tenant/landlord relationship.
8. Security deposit-Whether or not a security deposit should be returned or forfeited (conflict assessing amount of damage by the tenant) remains a frequent source of conflict on both sides of a rental relationship and popular issue of legal contention.
9. Eviction-Being suddenly forced to vacate a rental property or needing to pursue eviction of a tenant happens more frequently than desired for both parties and often requires counsel.
10. Discrimination-There can also be issues of discrimination that arise during a lease period or even when simply attempting to rent a property. This could emanate from mistreatment, service denial due to you race, gender, sexuality, family status or other factors.