Lawyer Harun Ndubi moves to court to stop auctioning of his house items over his Sh 400,000 rent arrears


Lawyer Harun Ndubi has moved to court seeking to prohibit auctioneers from auctioning his household items and evicting him from his apartment over Sh 414,715 rent arrears.

Ndubi wants the court to issue a conservatory order temporarily prohibiting Benwill Auctioneer, Young Muslim Association (owner of property) and Good living Properties consultancy (managers of the property) from evicting or distressing for rent areas by away of attaching his households goods pending hearing and determination of the case.

He further wants the respondents to be restrained from disconnecting the water or electricity connection or preventing him from enjoying the quiet possession of his house at YMA apartment 8 Kirichwa road, where he has been residing for the last seven years.

Through lawyer John Khaminwa and Shadrack Wambui, Ndubi says that on July 9, he received a 14 days notice of proclamation of his households from Benwill Auctioneer for the recovery of the alleged outstanding rent arrears of Sh 414,715 which he has been unable to settle since the month of March when the effect of the coronavirus pandemic hit the country.

It is alleged that on the 23rd July, Benwill Auctioneer are arbitrary, illegally and unconstitutionally expected to distress for the rent arrears in addition to their outrageous auctioneer’s fees of Sh 150,000.

“The distress of the petitioner’s households goods and items will certainly affect his responsibilities as an advocate and therefore pose a grave and imminent threat to the independence of the bar and his duty especially now the ministry of health insists that everybody should work from home due to coronavirus pandemic,” says lawyer Wambui.

He claims that on 18th July, he received a phone call from the representative of Good Living Properties Consultancy whom for purpose if this serve as Young Muslim Association agent that they were under instructions to evict him from the rented house.

The lawyers claim that the expected distress for rent by way of attaching Ndubi’s property contravenes the Rent Restriction Act Cap 296 and is therefore illegal to the extent that it is purported to be done without leave of the tribunal.

According to his supporting affidavit, Ndubi says that he has a good relationship with his landlord and manager of the property before the coronavirus outbreak but they have since had sharp disagreements due to his inability to pay his Sh 60,000 rent which was increased to Sh 70,000.

“Now that the coronavirus has caused the closure of courts and resulted to online court proceedings, which I have had the opportunity of conducting at the comfort of my house, my office registry has now shifted to my house and thus the distress for rent is likely to unnecessarily expose my clients’ confidential information to unwelcome third parties,” Ndubi swears.

The petitioner adds that his house registry which contains clients’ confidential information and court pleadings is largely an extension of the court’s registry and should be protected from interference from Benwill Auctioneers as the same may interfere with the cause of justice and prejudice his clients’ interests.

Ndubi says that if the threat to his property is actualised, it is likely to irreparably injure the advocate-client relationship, his right to dignity as a long standing advocate of goodwill and reputation, as a husband, father and mentor to young lawyers.

He however claims that his income has been frustrated and has nonetheless undertaken to pay YMA their dues as and when he is able to for as long as the effects of the pandemic persists, he is left without any other option.