More than 100 homeowners in Nairobi’s Enaki Town luxury apartments are grappling with the prospect of relinquishing their property usage rights due to contentious clauses introduced by the developer in a post-sale lease agreement.
In a demand letter issued by the homeowners’ legal representatives to the directors of Rosslyn Suites Limited, the majority of property owners, who had initially invested during the development phase, raised numerous concerns about the lease agreement.
One of the critical contentious clauses stipulates that the real estate firm Hass Consult holds exclusive rights as the letting agent appointed by the Enaki management company for all unit rentals at Enaki. Moreover, property owners must pay a fee each time a tenant occupies their unit, even if they secure a tenant independently or through a third party. Furthermore, if an owner wishes to withdraw their property from the rental market for any reason, they must pay a fee equivalent to 50% of the full fee.
Notably, Hass Consult is the largest shareholder in Rosslyn Suites Limited, and its founder and CEO, Mohammed Hassanali, also serves as a director in the development company.
Homeowners argue that they were not provided with the final lease document simultaneously with the sale agreement, a departure from standard industry practice where both copies are typically furnished together. They have expressed frustration at being presented with the lease document “at a point in time when we were already financially committed to the property transaction.”
The homeowners further assert that they have been denied access to their properties until they sign the lease agreement. The developer has maintained that the lease terms are non-negotiable, leaving homeowners with the dilemma of either accepting unfavourable terms or refraining from formalizing the agreement.
Enaki Town, located in Nyari and marketed by HassConsult, is advertised as a pinnacle of resort-style living, offering top-tier hospitality, convenient amenities, and diverse resident experiences. The residential resort comprises 1-4 bedroom residences, with prices commencing at Kshs. 10 million. The development features amenities such as swimming pools, a gym, a dance studio, and a 6.3-acre Botanical Garden, with access to the latter also a subject of contention.
The homeowners’ legal representative have underscored that the contentious clause raises a range of legal questions warranting comprehensive analysis, particularly with regard to the implications of restricting property owners from managing their rentals directly. This limitation not only curtails the autonomy of property owners but may also run counter to fundamental principles of property rights and the freedom to engage in lawful transactions.
According to an advertisement posted in Facebook, the monthly rent for one and two-bedroom apartments in the development ranges from KShs. 90,000 to Kshs. 150,000, with some units commanding rents of KShs. 225,000, as per the Hass Consult website.