The Benefits and Challenges of Renting in Kenya

Written by Beryl Nyathira

December 2, 2022

For many people, renting in Kenya can be a financially viable and flexible housing option, but it also has its own set of challenges. Our goal is to help you make an informed decision about whether renting in Kenya is the right choice for you based on the benefits and challenges we explore in this article.

Benefits of Renting in Kenya

Cost-effectiveness

A number of factors contribute to Kenya’s affordability of renting. The country has a relatively low cost of living compared to other countries in the region. Compared to many other countries in Africa and around the world, Kenya has a lower cost of housing, including rent. In addition, the level of development of the country and the country’s economic conditions may influence the availability of affordable rental housing in Kenya.

The fact that many Kenyans live in informal settlements or informal housing, which is often less expensive than formal rental housing, may also contribute to the affordability of renting in Kenya. For those who are unable to afford more expensive housing options, informal settlements can provide an affordable place to live. However, they may not meet the same standards of construction and maintenance as formal rental properties.

Economic, social, and cultural factors, along with the availability and cost of rental properties in different regions of Kenya, may influence the affordability of renting in Kenya.

It is flexible

There are a number of ways in which renting in Kenya can offer flexibility. Individuals and families are able to live in a particular location without committing to a long-term mortgage or property ownership. People in transition between jobs or other circumstances may benefit from this service, particularly those who are not sure where they want to live permanently.

In addition to being flexible in terms of housing types, renting also provides a wide range of choices. Renting properties in Kenya can be done in a variety of ways, including apartments, houses, townhouses, and more. In this way, people can choose the type of housing that best suits their needs and preferences. This is whether they are looking for a small studio apartment or a larger family home.

Additionally, renting can be a more flexible and less expensive option for those without the financial resources or credit history to qualify for a mortgage. People who are not ready to take on the responsibilities of homeownership, such as maintenance and repairs, can also benefit from renting.

For people of all backgrounds and circumstances, renting in Kenya offers a range of benefits and is an affordable and flexible housing option.

Typically, your landlord will take care of maintenance and repairs when you rent a home. In contrast to owning a home, where all repairs and maintenance are your responsibility, renting can save you significant amounts of money.

No down payment is required

Buying a home usually requires a down payment, which can be a significant financial burden. The advantage of renting is that you don’t have to make a down payment, which makes it easier to get started.

Challenges of Renting in Kenya

Lack of ownership

When you rent a home, you do not have the same sense of ownership and stability as when you own it. In some cases, you may not be able to make improvements or changes to the property. In addition, you may be forced to move if your landlord sells the property or terminates your lease.

Control over living conditions is limited

Due to the fact that tenants do not own the property they live in, they have limited control over their living conditions. Landlords and property owners are responsible for maintaining the property and making any repairs or improvements necessary.

It is your responsibility as a tenant to take care of the property and not cause damage. However, you do not have the same level of control as the owner. Additionally, you may not be able to make any changes or renovations to the property without the owner’s permission.

Also, landlords may have certain rules or regulations that tenants must follow, such as noise rules, guest rules, or rules regarding common areas. It may be difficult for a tenant to fully control his or her living environment if these rules are in place.

As a whole, renting can offer flexibility and the ability to move more easily. However, it also means that you have less control over your living conditions than homeowners, who have more control over their homes.

Limited tax benefits

There are certain tax benefits associated with owning a home, such as a mortgage interest deduction. Renters are not eligible for these benefits.

Since Kenya’s tax code primarily encourages home ownership, renting has limited tax advantages. Property taxes and mortgage interest payments may be deducted from homeowners’ tax bills in Kenya. In contrast, renters typically do not benefit from these tax breaks.

This emphasis on home ownership may be due to the government’s desire to enhance economic development and stability through home equity building. Additionally, it is critical to note that renters may have less access to these benefits because they may have trouble affording home ownership costs.

In Kenya, renters have some limited tax benefits, such as the ability to deduct rent paid if the rental property is used for business purposes. However, these benefits are not as generous as those available to homeowners.

There is a lack of long-term stability

Renting in Kenya may offer less long-term stability than homeownership for several reasons.

The landlord can terminate the agreement or increase rent at the end of the term because rental agreements are typically for a fixed term, such as one year. Renters may have to find a new place to live or negotiate a renegotiated rental agreement every few months because of this uncertainty.

Furthermore, renters do not have access to the same level of control as homeowners. It is possible for a landlord to sell the property or make significant changes to the property, disrupting the tenant’s living arrangements.

A rental property may also not provide the same sense of belonging and security as a home of one’s own. Ownership of a home can be a source of pride and a place to build a sense of community. On the other hand, renters may feel less connected to their living situation and may have less control over their property.

Renting may have its advantages, such as flexibility and the ability to move more easily, but it may not offer the same long-term stability as owning a home.

Final thoughts

The option of renting a home in Kenya can be financially feasible and flexible, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. The pros and cons of renting versus owning a home must be weighed to determine which is the right option for your situation. Renting or buying a home should be based on your long-term housing goals, budget, and desired level of stability and control.

Looking to rent or buy property in Kenya? Get in touch with Touchstone Properties today!

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