Kenya-based UN officials urge relief from scamming landlords

Published:  6 Jun at 6 PM
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United Nations employees in Nairobi are urging diplomatic intervention against landlords who refuse to refund deposits.

Expat employees working at Nairobi’s United Nations headquarters are up in arms about their Kenyan landlords’ refusals to return their deposits once their term is over and they leave their rental homes. Those affected are now urging diplomatic intervention in the struggle to get their money back. Staff have now sent an official letter to Ambassador Rose Makena Muchiri in her capacity of permanent representative to the Kenya Mission for UN Office. The letter claims landlords have been making totally unjustified expenses claims in order not to return their rental deposits once their tours of duty are ended.

The majority of expat staff working for the UN are housed in upmarket areas including Gigiri, Spring Valley, Runda and Kilimani, paying rental charges of between Sh150,000 and Sh400,000 per month, with two months’ rent in advance the usual deposit rate once a lease is signed. The deposits are refundable when the tenant leaves.The situation has deteriorated to the extent that many UN staff and expatriates are now reluctant to take a post in Kenya due to the difficulties of getting back their deposits.

Kenyan lawmakers are upset, as they believe the reports are damaging Kenya’s reputation as a host country for the prestigious UN, and are urging rent tribunal officers to visit the UN complex and assess the situation in order to give guidance in finding a solution.
Once the visit has taken place, a committee will attempt to explore options likely to be of use in tackling the problem. Meanwhile, those who’ve lost their deposits are still angry and insisting on swift action as regards retrieving their funds. The ball would seem to be in the UN’s court, as its financial contribution to Kenya’s economy is far larger as regards foreign exchange than that brought in by the country’s entire coffee industry.
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