Coronavirus: Landlord Shuts Down Commercial Building And Waives Rent
A businessman identified as William Murethi who is the owner of Wilmur Building in Nakuru town, Kenya has shut down his commercial building.
He also decided to waive April rent for the tenants occupying the commercial building which is located on Nakuru’s Kenyatta Avenue within the CBD.
Mureithi issued a notice to his over 50 tenants indicating that the premises will remain closed starting Tuesday.
“Wilmur Building will be closed from March 26 until further notice. April rent has been waived,” read a notice prominently displayed on the building.”
The building houses banks, SACCOs, law firms, a college, insurance and real estate companies, an adult education centre and a handful of business stalls.
His decision to shut down the building and waive rent is part of his move to help curtail the spread of novel coronavirus as well as reduce the economic impact of the virus outbreak.
Speaking to The Standard, Mureithi explained that he was sceptical when he issued the notice fearing that his clients would take it negatively as an attack on their businesses.
Admitting that waiving rent would have a financial implication on him, he said the shut down of the building would cost both him and his tenants.
“As I issued the notice I was not sure how the tenants would react as this would affect their businesses. Closing the entire building comes with a huge cost both on my tenants and myself,” he said.
He noted that the majority of the tenants continued to run their businesses since they had rent to pay at the beginning of every month.
“It is not that people are not worried about getting the virus. It is the fear of where to source rent that has made them continue operating normally. Having waived rent, they can now get reprieve until such a time when it shall be safe for them to reopen,” he said.
In addition to the waived rent, Mureithi who has interests in real estate has also sent his staff on indefinite leave during which time he will pay their dues fully.