In Summary
  • There have been calls to landowners to waive rent due to the reduced activity in efforts to tame the disease.
  • Two weeks ago, the Judiciary directed the tribunals to devise measures to facilitate the hearing of urgent cases.
  • With the scaling or shutting down of businesses, tenants and their landlords have ended up filing disputes before the tribunals..

Rent tribunals have handled 244 applications in the last two weeks, pointing to a deliberate attempt to reduce the backlog in the anticipation of many disputes when Kenyans and businesses start feeling the heat of restrictions in economic activity due to Covid-19.

Chief Justice David Maraga disclosed that bulk of the tribunal cases filed under certificate of urgency are being handled by the Business Premises Rent Tribunal (BPRT) and the Rent Restriction Tribunal (RRT).

Ordinarily, new filings before the tribunals number in the tens per week.

There have been calls to landowners to waive rent due to the reduced activity in efforts to tame the disease.

Two weeks ago, the Judiciary directed the tribunals to devise measures to facilitate the hearing of urgent cases.

With the scaling or shutting down of businesses, tenants and their landlords have ended up filing disputes before the tribunals.

BPRT handles cases such as whether or not any tenancy is a controlled, and determines or varies the rent in respect of any controlled tenancy. It is appointed by the Lands Cabinet Secretary. The tribunal currently has one member.

RRT is the oldest tribunal and its mandate includes making provisions for regulating the increase of rent, the right to possession, the exaction of premiums and fixing standard rent regarding controlled premises and for other purposes connected with the relationship of a landlord and tenant of a house.

It is based in Nairobi with regional offices in Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Nyeri, Kakamega, Eldoret, Embu, Lamu, and Garissa.

The Tribunal consists of the chair, vice-chair and a panel of members who are appointed by the Lands Cabinet Secretary.

Between 2018 and 2019, there were some 26,439 cases pending in the 11 tribunals.

On March 20, Justice Maraga gazetted Practice Directions on Electronic Case Management to guide the integration of ICT in judicial proceedings.

The directions are being used by various courts to facilitate use of technology in the delivery of justice. In the first one week, 1,779 matters were handled at various High Court stations.