Nairobi County’s Finance executive, Charles Kerich, has issued a warning that over 285,000 property and landowners in the city are at risk of losing their properties due to defaulting on land rates. Kerich revealed this information during a statement on Monday, highlighting the urgent need for action to address the issue.

According to Kerich, the county records show approximately 177,000 properties with defaulted land rates. However, records maintained by the Lands Ministry indicate a significantly higher number, exceeding 285,000 properties. Recognizing the disparity, Kerich stated that the county is in discussions with the ministry to reconcile these discrepancies and incorporate the additional 100,000 properties not captured in county records.

Kerich emphasized a shift in approach from previous administrations, noting that instead of resorting to rate increases to cover deficits, the focus is on broadening the base to enhance revenue collection from land rates. He stressed the importance of integrating the additional properties into the county’s records to ensure effective enforcement of land rates.

The county’s recent action follows the listing of all property owners who have defaulted on land rates, with a stern warning of potential consequences. Should these defaulting owners fail to settle their outstanding payments, their properties could face enforcement actions, including auctioning by the Nairobi City County Government.

Land rates constitute a significant portion of Nairobi County’s own-source revenue, contributing approximately 25% of the total revenue collected by the county government. Kerich acknowledged that some individuals may find themselves on the defaulters list due to failure to transfer ownership after selling their properties. He urged such individuals to rectify the situation promptly to avoid further complications.

In light of the default notices, Kerich advised property owners to review the listings and address any discrepancies, particularly in cases where ownership has changed hands but not been updated in the records. He emphasized the importance of proactive measures to resolve such issues, underscoring the inevitability of enforcement actions if the matter remains unresolved.