If you are a landlord receiving an income from a residential or commercial property, chances are that you could be missing out on rebates in your annual tax returns simply because your documentation is not in order. Since maintaining property and rental premises is such a self-directed undertaking, it is vital that every document be kept properly for your own sake because it will make it easy when you are making your tax returns. One may opt to keep receipts, but if you’re a landlord who is in touch with technology you’ll realise that there is a plethora of free tools available that will assist in condensing all payments as well as paperwork into one place.
James Ayugi, Chief Executive Officer of Web master Kenya Ltd noticed this gap and developed a website that could assist landlords, tenants and agents deal with this dilemma.
“Most landlords have problems knowing who has paid rent and this gives them a hard task of doing manual reconciliation to close accounts, turning it into an expensive affair. The website is designed to make record keeping compact, easy and accessible,”says Ayugi.
This is how the website operates. The landlord creates an account where they can add properties and units. He or she then links the units created to the tenant. Once a tenant has been linked to a lease, they are able to pay their rent electronically. The money is then forwarded to the landlord’s account. Not only does it make it easier to pay rent, but it also gives tenants access to rent loans.
A tenant qualifies for Okoa rent after six months of consistent payment. This is then paid directly to the landlord, with a payment plan that can go up to a month.
With so many defaulters, Ayugi has devised a way of ensuring that safeguards tenants from running away with the loan.
“The website operates just like M-shwari because it is just like a real bank loan. We hope everyone will join the system in future so that when you default you are blacklisted and no one will lease you a property,” he says.
This is not the first website that Ayugi developed. He created e-citizen, an online portal through which the government provides essential services such as applications for driving licences, passports vehicle registration certificates as well as title deed and logbooks.
“We didn’t have technology when I was growing up. I started by developing websites for clients, just like any other job,” says Ayugi.
His interest grew and he began to develop more interesting interactive applications mostly Internet and mobile-based. He stopped taking projects and focused on developing his own solutions since most of his clients could not afford to pay well. He believes that technology can resolve most of our problems.
“Technology has become an integral part of our society. It assists us in not only solving problems, but also improving solutions,” says Ayugi.
One benefit of the website is that the tenants can pay rent on the go via all channels. They are currently in the process of fine-tuning the tutorials.