Five buildings in Nairobi seized over rate arrears

Posted  Monday, November 24   2014 at  17:15

IN SUMMARY

· The city government, which is owed Sh12 billion, is targeting to squeeze Sh200 million from 150 properties.

· Tenants of the five buildings will now have to pay rent directly to City Hall until the county recovers its debt.

Nairobi County government has taken control of five buildings within the city’s Central Business District (CBD) to recover rate arrears owed to it. Four are prime properties on Moi Avenue, one of the CBD’s major roads, while the fifth is on the nearby Tom Mboya Street.

City Hall has also threatened to take over other properties whose owners owe millions in unpaid rates in what it is calling ‘Operation Clampdown’. The government, which is owed Sh12 billion, is targeting to squeeze Sh200 million from 150 properties in the next one month.

The first casualties are City Printing Works Ltd, Leo Investment Ltd, P&L Investment Ltd and Princely House Ltd, who own premises along Moi Avenue, and Brighton Investment Ltd, which has property on Tom Mboya Street. Tenants in their buildings will now have to pay rent directly to City Hall until the county recovers its debt according to the provisions of the Ratings Act. The County will also impose a three per cent interest penalty on the defaulted amounts.

http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Five-buildings-in-Nairobi-seized-over-rates/-/539546/2533512/-/5hgocqz/-/index.html

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City Hall attaches buildings over rates

Posted  Monday, November 24   2014 at  19:50

IN SUMMARY

· Nairobi is targeting Sh200 million from 150 properties within the central business district over the next month as rate defaults in the city hit Sh12 billion.

City Hall on Monday made good its threat to attach property whose owners have defaulted on land rate repayments by taking over five buildings in the city centre. Nairobi’s inspectorate department descended on City Printing Works, Leo Investment Limited, P&L Investment Limited and Princely House Limited (who own premises along Moi Avenue) and Brighton Investment Limited that sits on Tom Mboya Street.

Nairobi is targeting Sh200 million from 150 properties within the central business district over the next month as rate defaults in the city hit Sh12 billion. The building owners protested that the clampdown happened without court orders as City Hall maintained that the Rating Act empowers it to take properties in defaults. This marks the second takeover of buildings after the defunct City Council of Nairobi attached a number of properties in 2012.

“The campaign will be taken outside the CBD next year starting January 2015,” said Gregory Mwakanongo, county executive for Finance. “We will conduct this exercise until we collect the last penny owed to us. Last year we gave property owners up to 90per cent waivers on their accrued interest where we collected Sh780 million.”

http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/City-Hall-attaches-buildings-over-rates/-/539546/2533784/-/item/1/-/dy37grz/-/index.html

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ARE DEVELOPERS IGNORING HOUSING NEEDS OF YOUNG ADULTS?

Kenya: A tour of the counties reveals that most new housing developments are three-bedroom and four-bedroom houses, built with the family unit in mind.

In a country where 80 per cent are under 35 years, where will young adults, who have just started working and require smaller apartments, live? Where will the increasing student population from universities and colleges find housing?

According to James Kaniaru, CEO of Alliance Capital Partners (ACP), a real estate investment firm, market research shows that the reason developers in Kenya have been designing houses targeting families is that they are more financially stable and are the majority of home buyers.

“Families usually have dual salaries, and are often better loan repayers as they would not want to lose their home. However, despite demographic statistics indicating that the median age in Kenya is 19 years, developers are busy building larger houses yet ignoring the bulk of the population - young adults - who need decent houses once they start living on their own,” says Kaniaru.

The Kenya’s Youth Employment Challenge Report, a report by UNDP in 2013, states: “Young people aged between 18 and 34-years-old constitute more than a third of the entire population while nearly 80 per cent of Kenyans are less than 35 years, which represents great economic and social opportunities as well as enormous challenges.”

With a fast growing urban population, the UN estimates that 40 per cent of Kenya’s population will be living in cities and towns by 2040.

According to Samuel Owuor, a geography lecturer at the University of Nairobi, currently, provision of services (and in particular housing) is not in tandem with population growth.

The Knight Frank 2014 Second Quarter Report indicates that developers in the Nairobi prime apartment market are shifting their focus from three and four bedroom apartment to smaller units such as studios, one and two bedroom apartments.

ACP has for the last few years been investing in studio apartments which are self-contained living spaces often used by a single person or a couple. (In the UK they are called bedsitters and as the name suggests, there is space for a bed and a seat).

http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/m/story.php?id=2000141242&pageNo=3

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Needed urgently: National policy on quality of rental housing

In Summary

As they weigh the options of where to get the most affordable, decent house, the eye-opening fact of demand versus (lack of) supply for rental housing will stare them in the face.

However, Thuranira says that, going by the trend of rent rates in the country, the middle class would find it more economical to invest in buying a home than renting it.

However, the reality is that only 20 per cent of Kenyans own a home, says Kariuki, adding that, as a result of prevailing market dynamics, some people prefer to live in an area that might be too expensive to buy, but where the rentals are affordable.

http://www.nation.co.ke/lifestyle/DN2/National-policy-on-quality-of-rental-housing/-/957860/2520378/-/bgnnvuz/-/index.html

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