By Frank Nyambe

A Local court in Lusaka has ordered a Landlord to surrender the household goods he was withholding from the tenant for rental arrears because law forbids such practices.

Senior Court Magistrates Abbyshine Michelo and Esther Mulomba at Kanyama Local Court ordered Freddie Musonda, 51, a businessman of John Laing compound to surrender the household goods to his tenant Maureen Mwemba, 40, of the same compound which he confiscated for rental arrears.

Mwemba told the Court that she occupied the house of Musonda in November 2016 and that she was paying K450 adding that she has arrears of K1, 300.

She explained that on August 6, 2017 when she was at the farm Musonda locked the house and couldn’t open it despite telling him that there was K650 inside which she wanted to give him.

Mwemba added that she went to stay at the restaurant where she works and that when she reported the matter to police she was advised to come to court.

‘’Musonda sent children to call me and when I went there I found children removing my household goods taking to his house. I have sued Musonda so that the court guides me on how I can be paying the arrears,’’ said Mwemba.

In defence, Musonda said that Mwemba occupied his house in 2016 and that it was at K450 adding that there was also K35 for water.

He explained that Mwemba owed him K3, 180 and that she was not seen that was why he locked the house.

Musonda added that he told children to call Mwemba so that they remove households in her presence and that she delayed to come.

‘’In September that was when Mwemba came with her husband, I just want my money and I will give her the households,’’ said Musonda.

The court said that there is no dispute that Mwemba has rental arrears but Musonda mentioned another figure.

The court said that people fail to pay house rentals for one reason or the other but that in the absence of tenant agreement the landlord has no power to withhold household goods  because the law forbids because she can mention things which were not there.

Court ordered Musonda to give Mwemba her household goods the same day and that if she did not pay the arrears, he should sue her for the same.

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