Know Your Rights: Rights of a Tenant in Kenya
For a first time tenant, navigating through the uncertainties of getting a house and all that is required of them may turn out to be a lot. For those who have rented houses for a while now, some may be living under conditions that are against what they should be enjoying. Understanding one’s rights when handling anything often gives one, in this case a tenant, the confidence that will help them get out of any controversial situations when they arise. Below are some of the basic rights that you should be aware of as a tenant.
Tenants Rights When Looking for a House
Tenants ought to know that their rights begin at this stage. They need to know that they have a right to live at whichever region despite of whom they are. No house owner should discriminate them because of their age, gender, religion, race, nationality, colour or mental stability. It is important to know that it is illegal for landlords to have different conditions for different people because of who they are. For example, it is utterly wrong for a house owner to make you pay a higher rent because of your nationality or because you have children.
Tenants Rights When Moving In
Tenants have to be keen in understanding their rights when moving in to a new house. They are also advised to keenly read the tenancy agreement before they sign in.
Right to Maintenance
Once you move in, if you come across anything that is broken and needs fixing, it is your right as a tenant to make a maintenance request to have it sorted by the landlord. He should make all the needed repairs when you make a request from him. Avoid making major repairs that alter the house design as this may reduce the chances of you getting back your deposit when moving out.
Right to Live in a Habitable House
Each tenant has a right to be in a place that’s comfortable and liveable. The landlord should make sure that his property is in good condition and make it habitable for all tenants to live there. For instance, if there is an issue with the water supply, the house owner needs to fix it before you move in or fix it as soon as possible.
Right to Safety
No matter where you are, your safety is of the utmost importance. The tenant has to ensure that the doors, windows and locks work properly before they move in to ensure safety. If there is any fault, the landlord should ensure that they fix it soon enough. The tenant also has a right to add more locks if they need to.
Right to Privacy
Once you sign the tenancy agreement and move in, the landlord can’t enter your property without your consent. It doesn’t matter the urgency of their need to access your house, they must have your permission before they can access it.
Tenants Rights When Moving Out
Right to Know Why You are Evicted
If you are forced to move out by the landlord, they must send you an eviction notice highlighting the reason as to why they are making that decision. If there is an issue, the landlord ought to give you a courtesy notice so that you may try to fix it before serving you an eviction notice.
Right to Get Your Deposit Back
At the end of the agreement, you have a right to get back your deposit. The landlord however will take a specific amount of time before they hand in the full amount depending on the initial agreement.
Ultitmately, before signing any tenancy agreement make sure you are fully aware what you are signing up for and what will be required of you.