Angry Landlord 'Locks Gate With Snake' After Tenants Fall Behind On Rent

A disgruntled landlord has given a whole new meaning to the term "throwing a hissy fit" after locking the gate to his property with a snake after tenants fell behind on their rent.

The incident reportedly took place in the town of Kitui in Kenya and first came to light after Nairobi governor Mike Sonko posted an image of the gate to Facebook.

In the picture, an average-sized green snake can be seen wrapped around the lock of an orange colored gate.

Writing alongside the post, Sonko explained that the landlord decided to wrap the reptile around the lock "after tenants failed to clear September and October rent arrears."

Sonko's post has garnered nearly 10,000 reactions as well as more than 1,400 comments on Facebook with fans divided over the property owner's extreme approach.

Samson Robinson felt that the snake's rights had been "infringed" by the landlord's actions while Julius Munywoki felt the incident would "tarnish" the reputation of Kitui online.

Mwalimu Edwn Anton, meanwhile, felt the snake lock would prove ineffective if put to the test.

"This type of snake rarely bites, and if they bite, they have no venom thus harmless," he wrote. "Just pull it out and throw it away."

Others, like Humble Boyie, branded the picture "nonsense" while Timothy Mwetu claimed the image was "edited propaganda" designed to damage Kenya's reputation.

However, according to Naija News, the landlord responsible for the use of the snake has been named in local reports as Samuel Kioko, who resides in the Kunda Kindu area of Kitui.

They say Kioko "discreetly placed" the snake on the door after they went to work one morning.

The animal was not bound to the gate but news of its appearance soon went viral, with an image of the snake also shared by Donald Z. Ngeno, a self described "policy and development influencer" based in Nairobi.

Newsweek has contacted Sonko, Ngeno and the Nairobi City Council, for comment.

Snakes remain a source of constant fear and fascination on the internet.

In October, a chilling reptile video ended up going viral, showing a deadly snake in strike mode as an experienced catcher prepared to capture it.

While social media is littered with terrifying stories of close encounters with snakes, there are plenty of horror stories out there involving landlords too.

In another widely shared post, tenants shared their own nightmare experiences with landlords which ranged from the frustration of painted-over sockets to the horror of discovering mold growing in an apartment.

While purchasing property rather than renting may have been the recommended option in the past, a recent study by LendingTree revealed that median housing costs are actually lower among those renting compared with homeowners paying a mortgage in all 50 of America's largest metro areas.

The most substantial difference came in New York City where the difference in the median cost of renting and owning a home was $1,363 a month.

A snake on a gate.
Stock image of a snake on a gate. A landlord in Kenya has gone viral after attempting to teach his tenants a lesson using a similar reptile to secure his property after the apparent non-payment of rent. Anant_Kasetsinsombut/Getty