In Summary
  • Anne Kihagi had been accused of harassing 23 tenants and wrongfully evicting 10 others by using unconventional methods to frustrate among them the elderly and a cancer patient.
  • Ms Kihagi, a landlady with a portfolio of property worth $24 million (Sh2.5 billion), was also sentenced to five days in a San Francisco jail for violating the housing law.

A Kenyan woman has been fined US$2.4 million (Sh247.5 million) by an American court for being an abusive landlady.

Ms Anne Kihagi had been accused of harassing 23 tenants and wrongfully evicting 10 others by using unconventional methods to frustrate among them the elderly and a cancer patient.

Ms Kihagi, a landlady with a portfolio of property worth $24 million (Sh2.4 billion), was also sentenced to five days in a San Francisco jail for violating the housing law. This is after a two-year bruising court battle with her tenants who have christened her the “notorious landlord”. In fact, Ms Kihagi may end up being fined up to $4 million (Sh412.5 million) since the judge also ruled that she must foot the costs incurred during the case.

TENANTS COMPLAINED

Ms Kihagi’s run-ins with her tenants began two years ago when they complained of harassment and uncouth tactics that their landlady used to evict them so she could renovate the building and rent it out at a higher price. According to a report by San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, the tactics used by Ms Kihagi included: “Fraud, harassment, threats, intimidation, verbal abuse, interrupting gas, electric, water and cable service, failing to cash rent cheques, only to late claim them as untimely rent payment and violating tenants’ privacy by entering their apartments without required notice”. The tenants also accused Ms Kihagi of installing video surveillance cameras aimed at their front doors.

Ms Kihagi has since garnered a reputation for being a horrible landlady, with Mr Herrera saying “I’ve gone after a lot of lawless landlords in my time, but Anne Kihagi has a special place reserved for her in San Francisco’s abusive landlord ‘hall of fame’. Her cruelty is stunning”.

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