Residents try to open the main gate doors to gain access to the Aden House. Photo: Elvis Okello
An angry Kenyan landlord shocked people yesterday when he locked his tenants inside their houses for hours following a dispute over rent.
According to SDE, tenants at Aden’s House in Tassia estate of Embakasi South, Nairobi, were shocked to realise that their landlord had used a welding machine to seal their doors and gates when they refused to pay higher rents.
Trouble began in September, when the landlord served them with a rent hike notice. Under the new rates, they were expected to pay Sh7,000, up from Sh6,000, for one bedroom and Sh8,000 (from Sh7,000) for two bedrooms.
The tenants protested, saying the new rates were not justified. They cited lack of water and paint, leaking bathrooms and a poor sewerage system.
In a letter to the landlord, they wanted their grievances addressed. And when no response came, they refused to pay the new rents altogether.
"No tenant’s plea has been responded to, and therefore we are not going to adhere to the rent increment until visible improvements are done or a reasonable and favourable rent percentage is introduced," read the letter signed by seven tenants.
The landlord then dispatched housing agents who sealed all entrances to the building. Many tenants were caught by surprise and only managed to break out when their neighbours came to the rescue.
By the time they were freed, at around 3pm, they had spent almost all day indoors.
Police and Nyumba Kumi officers arrested the two agents.