The Business Premises Rent Tribunals are established under section 11 of “The Landlord and Tenant (Shops, Hotels and Catering Establishment Act (Cap 301) Laws of Kenya. What purpose do these tribunals serve and what are their main and important powers as stipulated under the Act?

• Business premises tribunals have original jurisdiction to determine civil disputes between landlords and tenants of commercial or business premises if the tenancy is “controlled”. A controlled tenancy is the tenancy of a shop, hotel or catering establishment which:
o Has not been reduced into writing or
o Has been reduced into writing but does not exceed 5 years and contains a method for termination otherwise than breach
Decisions of the tribunal may be appealed against in the High court.
To determine whether a tenancy is controlled or not.
• To determine or vary the rent payable in respect of a controlled tenancy.
• To permit the levy of distress for rent.
• To apportion rent between tenants where a controlled tenancy is shared.
• To determine the amount payable a tenant as service charge in respect of a controlled tenancy.
• Facilitate vacant possession of the premises to enable the landlord.
• To authorize the tenant to carry out repairs in case of default the landlord and deduct the cost thereof from the rent payable.
To vary or rescind any order made the tribunal.

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