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By laws

The County Council of Nairobi has powers to make laws conferred on it by the Local Government. Subject to section 202, a local authority may from time to time make by-laws in respect of all such matters as are necessary or desirable for the maintenance of the health, safety and well-being of the inhabitants of its area and for the good rule and government of such area and for the prevention and suppression of nuisances. The following are some of Nairobi County by laws:

City By Laws


Electronics Shop, Kimathi Street

Licensing of premises and trades

No person shall engage in any business at any premises within the jurisdiction of the Council unless such premises are permitted for the purpose.

  1. Business permits shall not be issued for businesses being carried out in a building where land and ground rent are owing.
  2. The Council may issue or refuse to issue a permit.
  3. Any person carrying out business must obtain a business permit by the 31st of March of current trading year or may be guilty or an offense
  4. Permit fees are payable to the Council and may be revised from time to time.
  5. The amount of permit fees paid to the Council by charitable organizations may be exempted or reduced.
  6. A permit may only be transferred by the holder to another person, with prior consent of the Council, accompanied by a fee which is subjected to revision.
  7. Any person authorized by the Town Clerk may enter your premises at any time to inspect or inquire if the conditions attached to the permit are being observed. Anyone who interferes shall be guilty of an offense.
  1. Every applicant for a single business permit shall produce a certificate of proof of payment of Council rates.
  2. If any permit contravenes any of the conditions set out under section 165 of the Local Government Act or the Council by Laws, the Council may refuse to grant or renew it.
  3. Consolidated permits will be issued to traders who conduct different businesses within the same premises.
  4. The Council shall levy fees and charges for the use of way leaves. That is, land use for overhead, underground and ground level service lines for power lines, telephone lines etc.
  5. Fees and charges for quarrying shall be levied by the Council, and the person undertaking such activities will accept conditions set about reclamation, reinstatement and alternative use.
  6. A person doing kiosk business shall not sleep overnight in the business premises.
  7. A cyber café shall be limited to a certain number of computer monitors determined by the Council depending on whether it is a small, medium or large business center.

Restaurant, eating house and snack bar

  1. Application forms for new permits or licenses should be delivered to the Town Clerk not less than 30days before the date the trading period begins.
  1. The permit expires on 31st December of the year it is issued.
  2. In case of death, bankruptcy or unsound of mind of a permit holder, the widow or the widower or the trustee or any other person approved by the Town Clerk in writing is to carry on the business without any transfer of permit.
  3. The restaurant kitchen design structure should be approved by the City Council.
  4. Adequate refrigeration should be provided for maintenance of stored food.
  5. Every employer in the premise should:
  • Always keep themselves clean.
  • Refrain from spitting and smoking while cooking.
  • Should cover any cut or bruise on an exposed part with a clean water proof dressing.
  1. A permit holder should maintain the premise to the satisfaction of the customers.
  2. Any permit holder of a permit which does not correspond to the premise he is conducting his business from becomes guilty of an offence.
  3. Every permit holder should place his permit at a conspicuous position in the premise.
  4. A permit holder should not allow any indecent behavior on the premises.
  5. A permit holder should not sell any food which is not sound or wholesome.
  6. Every open air eating place should operate under the following requirements;
  • The Council should approve it design structure and should contain adequate sanitary facilities.
  • All persons carrying or handling the food must have medical certificates.
  • The permit holder should provide adequate firefighting facilities located strategically within the structure.


Fast Food

Fast food outlet, Westlands

Snack vendor

Food shops and stores

  1. It is an offence to trade in food unless one is in possession of the appropriate license or permit.
  2. One can apply for a permit to the Town Clerk giving sufficient particulars of the shop.
  3. The permit expires on 31st December of the year it is issued.
  4. The Town Clerk shall not issue a new permit if;
  • The applicant is not a city resident.
  • The shop or store does not comply with the Council by-laws
  1. A person working in a food shop or store must have a valid medical certificate.
  2. Any health inspector has a right to inspect a registered food shop or store at any time.
  3. Blocking an office from doing that duty is an offense.


Sale of ice cream

  1. Ice-cream should not be sold or offered for sale within the city if it has not been manufactured in accordance with these by-laws.
  2. All ice-cream should be protected from dirt, dust or any other contamination during storage, distribution and sale.
  3. Application of the permit should be made to the town clerk. The permit expires on 31st December of the year issued.
  4. The issued permit is not transferable to any other premises.
  5. Inspection may be done at any time by the Medical Officer of Health or a Public Health Officer.
  6. Every permit holder shall:
  • Maintain the premises clean at all times.
  • Keep all utensils/vessels used for ice-cream storage, distribution or sale clean and sterilized
  • Not employ any person suffering from infectious or contagious or venereal disease and incase of any infection the medical officer of health should be notified immediately.
  1. A permit shall be produced any time it is required by the Medical Officer OF Health or Public Health Officer.


Ice Cream, Vendor

Roadside Stall


  1. One can apply for a permit to the Town Clerk for authority to conduct hawking, giving particulars of goods and place of hawking.
  2. A Hawker’s Assistant permit may be issued to a person employed to assist the permit holder who may have a physical disability or has loss of limbs.
  3. The permit is not transferable to another person.
  4. Any person without a valid permit or one who hawks in an undesignated area risks having their goods impounded.
  5. Each person engaging in hawking must have a badge and wear it at a conspicuous place.
  6. Council officers have a right to inspect any goods/articles being hawked. Blocking an officer from performing that duty is an offence.


Fire brigade


  1. Entering any premises which are on fire without authorization from the senior officer.
  2. Obscuring, molesting or interfering with any member of the fire brigade when on duty.
  3. Giving false fire alarm to the bridge.
  4. Making or causing fire.
  5. Denying entry or obstructing an officer from inspecting or getting any information from any premise.
  6. Using premises without obtaining a fire prevention clearance certificate from the Chief Fire Officer.


Fire Brigade marching at Nyayo Stadium

Firestation on Tom Mboya Street

Duties and rights of a Fire Officer

  1. It is the duty of the Senior Fire Officer present at the scene of any fire to control all the operations.
  2. The Chief Fire Officer may permit the owner or occupier of any building to connect an Automatic Fire Extinguisher system to the premises.
  3. The Senior Fire Officer may enter or break into any premises within the city which appears to be on fire without consent from any person.
  4. A Senior Officer may temporarily close any street, passage or thoroughfare in or near which a fire exists.
  5. During the flight, a Senior Fire Officer has the power to use any supply of water whether on public or private property.
  6. The Council may at any time instruct a person to remove any material that is most likely to cause fire.
  7. The owner of Premises should pay for Firefighting services whether the owner requested for the attendance or not.
  8. The Chief Fire Officer will inspect premises to ensure they comply with Fire safety.

Solid waste management

  1. It is the city Council’s duty to regulate waste and its management within the city.
  2. Organized groups will be given permits for small scale recovery of waste.
  3. Occupiers/tenants of any building/trade premises must have a sizeable container with a good lid in which the daily domestic waste should be kept.
  4. Domestic and trade premises occupiers and owners shall separate recyclable waste and place in a different container provided/approved by the Council.
  5. Premises owners/occupiers of the premises should ensure hazardous/clinical waste is managed to the satisfaction of the Council.
  6. Burning, throwing away etc. of waste in an inappropriate place is an offense.
  7. Waste operators permit is not transferable without the consent of the Council.
  8. The Council must provide a place to dispose waste before it is transferred to final disposal.
  9. It is prohibited to disturb a waste disposal site or container approved by the Council.
  10. The Council may revoke/cancel a waste operator’s permit in the breach of given conditions.
  11. The Council issues directions for different waste collection charges for different areas of the city.
  12. Any duly authorized officer may inspect a residential dwelling or trade premises at any time.


Solid waste management

Clean up in the suburbs

Public toilets in the CBD

Public lavatories

The Council may partner with any person to provide public lavatory services at an agreed fee or enter into lease agreement in mutually agreed terms for the management of public conveniences.

  1. An agreement under the above shall be reviewed after every 3years, and may have among its conditions:
  • A requirement that the person managing the conveniences’ pay the utility bills involved in such management
  • A requirement that he pay to the Council a fee in amount as may be agreed with the Council.
  1. A person managing a convenience shall keep such convenience clean and hygienic.
  2. A person who enters a convenience shall not;
  • Enter any such convenience without first paying any fee which the Council may charge for its use.
  • Willfully annoy or interfere any anyway with the privacy of any other person using the convenience.
  • Willfully and improperly soil any part of the inconvenience.
  • Write on, mark or otherwise change or damage any part of the convenience.
  • Interfere with any other officer or any other person authorized to manage the convenience in the execution of his duties  
  1. The disposal of liquid waste from a mobile toilet should be hygienic and disposed as directed by the Council.



  1. The occupier of any premises connected to the water company’s sewerage system shall pay to the company for the use of the system a fee of Kshs. 14.20 per litre per month.
  2. The occupier of any premises other than residence from which waste water passes into a waste water pit or conservancy tank shall pay in advance a fee of Ksh 3000 for each emptying of the tank/pit.
  3. The occupier of any residence from which waste water passes to a waste water pit or conservancy tank shall pay a fee of Kshs.3000 per month for regular emptying to the tank/pit.
  4. The occupier of any premises from which waste water passes to a septic tank shall pay Kshs.3000 in advance for the each emptying of the tank.
  5. Where premises have remained unoccupied for a period not less than 30days, the company may make a refund or allowance for the fee charged during the period.
  6. Private Exhauster services may be licensed at times to supplement the Council in providing services for the collection, transportation, treatment and disposal of waste.

Laying Sewer Pipe, Kileleshwa

Taxi Cab

Taxi Cab

Taxi cab

  1. The Town Clerk shall receive the application form at least a month before the date on which the permit is intended to take effect.
  2. The Town Clerk shall issue, in addition to the permit in respect of which the application is made;
  • In the case of a taxi cab permit, a permit bearing the number of the permit issued and the number of passengers.
  • In the case of a taxi cab driver’s permit, a badge bearing the number of the permit issued and his photograph.
  1. It is required that all taxi-cab drivers should wear the prescribed uniform when on duty.
  2. The Town Clerk shall refuse to issue and the Council may at any time cancel a permit if:
  3. In the case of a taxi permit:-
  • The ownership is not a Kenyan or is undercharged bankrupt.
  • The issue of the permit is prohibited by these by laws.
  • The applicant fails to satisfy the Town Clerk that he is fit and proper to hold such a permit.
  1. A taxi cab driver’s license may not be issued if the applicant has been convicted for an offence against the Traffic Act.
  2. No permit shall be transferred so as to apply for a vehicle other than that in respect of which the original application was made and the permit issued.
  3. Where a permit is surrendered on or before the 30th of June in any year, a refund half the fee thereof shall be made.
  4. The Owner of the taxi cab shall be expected to take his vehicle for inspections every three months.
  5. Every taxi cab shall be provided with a taxi meter of a type approved by the City Engineer.
  6. The taxi meter and all fittings shall be so sealed that it shall not be practicable for any person to tamper with them except by breaking, damaging or permanently displacing the seals.
  7. All taxi drivers shall be required to behave in a civil and orderly manner and ensure the safety of all persons entering into or alighting from the vehicle.
  8. The Council may from time to time designate an area to be a taxi rank.
  9. Any person who parks a vehicle other than a taxi cab in an area prescribed as a taxi rank shall be guilty of an offence.


Matatu termini

  1. Application of parking permit should be made to the Town Clerk. The permit expires on 31st of December of the year it is issued.
  2. Parking permit must be displayed conspicuously on the matatu on which it is issued.
  3. Parking of any vehicle other than a matatu at a matatu terminus is an offense.
  4. The permit is not transferable to another vehicle.
  5. One needs a written authority of the Town Clerk to establish a private matatu terminus.
  6. Matatus should only be parked at a matatu terminus and will only stop to pick or drop passengers at a designated bus stop.
  7. All matatus at terminus should be under direction of an enforcement official.
  8. It is an offence to drive more than 10km/hr within the terminus.
  9. Importuning for passengers on the streets or terminus is an offense.
  10. A matatu abandoned at the terminus without adhering to the by-laws may be removed by an enforcement officer.
  11. If fees and expenses incurred in the removal of the matatu are not paid within 60 days from day of removal, the Council may dispose it to cover outstanding fees and expenses.
  12. If there are six or more persons waiting to enter a matatu at a terminus or designated stopping place, they must form a queue.
  13. Hawking of goods at a matatu terminus without a permit of the Council is illegal.
  14. All persons in a matatu terminus must follow directions and instructions of enforcement or police officers.


No person in a matatu terminus should do the following:

  1. Obstruct a person from entering and alighting from a matatu
  2. Board the matatu through any other portal apart from the door.
  3. Obstruct a conductor or a hinder the driver from performing their duties
  4. Behave in a disorderly manner.
  5. Interfere or molest anyone else.
  6. Cause any verbal disturbance or use any abusive language.
  7. Litter or spit
  8. Damage Council equipment.


Matatu Terminus Kangemi

Matatu Terminus

Parked Cars, Monrovia Street



  1. Placing a sign post or reserving a parking space without authority in the Council.
  2. Parking in a designated parking space without payment of fees
  3. Parking on a pavement or on Council gardens.
  4. Signaling guiding or directing a driver of a vehicle into or out of a parking place.
  5. Interfering with writing or marking on a parking ticket.
  6. Using parking space for advertisement or business.
  7. Damaging a vehicle clamp, removing or attempting to remove the same.
  8. Obstructing an officer in enforcing these by-laws.
  9. Knocking down an electricity pole, will lead to the owner paying for the restoration of the pole.


Rules and Regulations

  1. Non-payment parking fee will lead to clamping and towing of the vehicle. Any vehicle clamped must pay clamping fees to the Council.
  2. Failure to pay towing fees and other expenses incurred by the Council within 60 days, may lead to disposal of the vehicle through the public notice auction.
  3. The parking ticket must be displayed on the front windscreen. Non displays will mean nonpayment of the same.
  4. Parking attendants shall at all times put on a uniform, carry and have with them a proper identification badge issued by the Council.
  5. You need a Council permit to run a commercial private parking place.
  6. Vehicles must be parked within the space indicated by lines or any other mark provided by the Council.
  7. The Council will not be responsible for damage or loss incurred during clamping or removal of the offending vehicle.
  8. Parking is free from 2.00 pm on Saturdays, whole day Sundays and Public Holiday. 

Hamali carts and handcarts in public streets

  1. The City Council of Nairobi may from time to time control the traffic of Hamali carts in the streets.
  2. A person authorized by the Council to propel a Hamali or hand cart shall observe all traffic rules and these by laws.
  3. A person who uses a Hamali or hand cart and causes or permits such cart to be used in contravention of the bylaws is guilty of an offense.

Hamali carts and handcarts in public streets

  1. The City Council of Nairobi may from time to time control the traffic of Hamali carts in the streets.
  2. A person authorized by the Council to propel a Hamali or hand cart shall observe all traffic rules and these by laws.
  3. A person who uses a Hamali or hand cart and causes or permits such cart to be used in contravention of the bylaws is guilty of an offense.


Hand Cart

Nursery, Kenyatta National Hospital

Medical facilities

  1. No person, shall within the city, operate a maternity home, nursing home or other medical facility unless he is in possession of a  valid permit granted by the Council.
  2. A permit shall expire on 31st December of the year issued.
  3. A permit is not transferable to another holder.
  4. Application for a permit should have:
  • Name, address and occupation for the application.
  • Description of the premises and location of patients proposed to be accommodated on such.
  • Number and qualifications of the persons proposed to be employed.
  1. Application for renewal of permit shall be made on or before the 15th of October in each year.
  2. The Medical Health Officer may at all times enter and inspect the premises.
  3. In every medical facility, rooms shall be provided for use as a mortuary or incinerators.
  4. The permit holder shall not permit more people than those indicated in the permit.
  5. The permit holder shall maintain his premises in good order and condition, to the satisfaction of the Council.
  6. The permit holder shall keep a record of:
  • All persons received into the premises.
  • All operations carried out in the premises.
  • All miscarriages occurring in the premises.
  • All children born in the premises.


Private schools

  1. A permit application should be made to the Town Clerk indicating:
  • The name, address and occupation of the applicant.
  • The description of the premises proposed for the school.
  • The number of persons proposed to be employed to teach and take care of the children.
  • The number of students attending the proposed school.
  1. The permit shall expire on 31st December of the year issued.
  2. A permit is not transferable without consent of the Council.
  3. The permit holder should maintain the premise in good order and condition to the satisfaction of the Council.
  4. The permit holder should ensure at all times that the number of persons employed shall not be less than those specified in the permit.
  5. The Medical Officer of Health May at all reasonable times enter and inspect any permitted premises. 

Young Children in School

Obstructing Traffic

General nuisance


  1. Make any kind of noise on the streets.
  2. Cause any risk to users through destruction of a building or road.
  3. Cause risk to users through inadequate fenced or unfenced land.
  4. Not repair or remove an enclosure and leave things around that may make one to fall.
  5. Discharge a missile in or near a street.
  6. Destroy the surface of a public street.
  7. Willfully block a free passage or remove/displace any Council property.
  8. Play any game, ride or drive or propel on a foot path.
  9. Deface any building by writing signs or graffiti.
  10. Deposit any type of material or waste on the streets.
  11. Spit on any foot path or blow the nose aimlessly other than into any suitable cloth or tissue.
  12. Commit any act contrary to public decency.
  13. Idle-sitting other than in recreational places --- Uhuru Park, Central Park, City Park and Jeevanjee Gardens etc. is illegal and so is leaning against flower pots.
  14. Loiter, pursue or attempt to procure a female/male for prostitution purposes.
  15. Defecate or urinate on a street or any other open/public space.
  16. Conveyance of food in a manner likely to cause contamination.
  17. Sell unsafe food.
  18. Keep any animal or poultry which may cause a nuisance to any resident in the neighborhood.
  19. Keep a dog older than four months without a license is illegal. Also, if you want to keep more than four dogs older than four months, you require a license for your premises.
  20. To breed animals that are a nuisance to other residents.
  21. Selling “unlicensed animals” is prohibited.
  22. Animal Control Officers may enter your premises for a spot check. It is an offence to deny them access.
  23. Wash, repair or dismantle any vehicle in a prohibited area except in case of emergency.
  24. Discharge of water from premises.
  25. Tout for passengers.
  26. Guide or direct a driver of a vehicle into or out of a parking space.
  27. Fail to observe traffic lights or zebra crossing.
  28. Pedestrians to cross the road while talking on their mobile phone.
  29. Drive or be a passenger in any overloaded vehicle.
  30. Board/Alight at non designated matatu stops.
  31. Carrying out car washing activities on road reserves.
  32. Stealing or destroying manhole covers/street lights and other Council property.
  33. Start construction without Council authority.
  34. Construct accesses without authority.
  35. Cut down trees without a permit from the Council.
  36. Allow hedges and trees to encroach and pose a danger to traffic movement.
  37. Make or cause a fire.
  38. Burning of waste.
  39. Hawk in undesignated area.
  40. Bargain or buy from a hawker in an undesignated area.
  41. General Rules and Regulations
  42. All residential houses should be fenced.
  43. All tree hedges or other growth should be chopped, trimmed or removed.
  44. All meat and poultry for sale should be inspected.
  45. Every building should be painted at least once every year.
  46. A landlord should ensure that the frontage of a building is kept clean, and in good condition and repair.
  47. All housing estates must be well-lit. It is a requirement for all houses to have a security lights installed in the front of the building.