Tenants’ rights against discrimination: What does the law say in Kenya?

Updated: Apr 14, 2020

“Defeating racism, tribalism, intolerance and all forms of discrimination will liberate us all, victim and perpetrator alike”-Ban Ki-Moon.

The constitution of Kenya 2010 permits every individual to enjoy the rights and freedoms it recognizes under Article 27(4) without distinction of any kind such as race, sex, pregnancy, marital status, health status, ethnic, social origin, color, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, dress, language or birth.

Barring anyone from enjoying these rights and freedoms therefore amounts to discrimination and similarly, landlords and their agents ought to observe this constitutional provision in their dealings with the tenants.

The interpretation of this provision based on landlord-tenant relationship is that landlords may not advertise or make statements that indicate a limitation or preferences based on religion, tribe, gender or any other protected category.

They are also prohibited from changing and setting new terms and conditions before or during a tenancy. They cannot for example, during the course of the tenancy demand additional security deposit or adopt other inconsistent policies. On rental agreement and lease terminations, landlords are not permitted to terminate a tenancy on a discriminatory ground or reason.

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