Tenant’s offer to force landlord to refund Sh27m repair money fails

The tenant wanted to buy the lavish house of upscale Karen in Nairobi at a cost of 85 million shillings. [Courtesy]

Land and Environment Court rejected a tenant’s offer to force a landlord to reimburse him Sh 27 million for repairs to a rental house after his failed attempt to purchase the property .

Martin Kanyingi wanted to buy upscale Karen’s lavish house in Nairobi at a cost of 85 million shillings, but after the deal failed, he sued the owner for reimbursement of the repair costs.

He asked the court to declare that he legally occupied the house. But Judge Oguttu Mboya rejected Mr. Kanyingi’s plea. “He does not legally occupy the premises as a tenant after the landlord has terminated his lease contract. He must vacate the premises within 90 days, otherwise the owner will be free to request an eviction order, ”Judge Mboya ruled.

Kanyingi, in his application, told the court he was looking for a house to rent in 2016 when he stumbled upon the premises in the Wind Ridge area in Karen. After investigation, he was informed that the property was leased and managed by Belgravia Services Limited.

He said after meeting with the representative of the company, they did an inspection of the house and found some flaws that required repairs and modifications to his liking and liking.

They then signed a lease for his rental to begin on October 1, 2016. However, repairs to his taste and taste took 11 months, and he only occupied the premises from November 2017.

Kanyingi said that during the time he was away from the house, he continued to pay a monthly rent of 409,000 shillings, which amounted to 4.5 million shillings.

During his tenancy, Kanyingi said he approached the owner to buy the house for 85 million shillings, but the deal fell apart at the last minute before the owner sent him a letter ending the deal. its rental contract in November 2019.

He challenged the termination of the rental agreement and asked the court to order the landlord to reimburse him 27,606,510 shillings for the cost of repairs and the amount paid during the period he did not occupy the house.

The director of the company Philippe Cauvier for their defense denied having authorized the repairs, and that the tenant should blame himself for having spent a fortune to make the house as he pleased when he did not own it.

According to Cauvier, it was the continuation of work on the premises that led the company to terminate the lease with the tenant.

Judge Mboya accepted their defense, ruling that the house was in habitable condition at the time the tenant expressed interest in occupying it in 2016 and could not go back to claim what he had used for it. improve as it pleases. “After signing the lease contract in October 2016, it was assumed that the tenant confirmed that the defects in the costume premises had been repaired. He can no longer turn around to claim repair costs which have not been sanctioned by the owner, ”said Mboya.

The judge adds that the tenant cannot force himself to stay in a house where the owner does not want him, and that the only amount to which he is entitled for reimbursement is the security deposit he paid during the rental. places.

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