What are the top factors to keep in mind when searching for a place to live in your city?
Safety of the neighborhood and the surrounding area. You will most probably be advised on where to live (in expatriate neighborhoods).
What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats?
Popular areas of expatriate housing include the Runda Estate, the upmarket suburb of Muthaiga, Spring Valley, Loresho, Westlands, Riverside Drive, Nyari Estate and Lavington. Other reasonable and pleasant housing is available in Hurlingham, Kilimani, Kileleshwa and the State House area. Some people prefer to live in the green environs of Karen and Langata, which are located to the south of Nairobi, and enjoy close proximity to Nairobi National Park and several other natural attractions.
Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes?
Expats tend to rent their homes.
Typically, will I be required to pay additional money up front (such as a deposit) before moving into leased housing? If so, how much is common?
Most landlords will ask for three months’ rent in advance.
Are utilities generally included in the price of rent, or are they extra?
Tenants are responsible for paying the water, telephone and electricity bill. Remember to ask for availability of water, electricity and phone. These resources are scarce in some areas. The waiting lists are long for getting a telephone line, and it is best to make sure that it is already connected to your proposed home. Also, if possible, try to talk to a prior tenant, in order to know some more about the place, area and landlord.
Are there special security concerns I should be aware of in regards to my home or choice of neighborhood?
No matter where you are staying in Kenya, it is advised that you have 24-hour security on your premises. It is possible to hire guards (ascaris) yourself, but there are several security companies that offer 24-hour security service. By using a major company, you save yourself a lot of trouble if a guard is sick or going on leave, etc. Also, the companies can install alarm buttons in strategic places around the house and for the guard. If the button is pressed, assistance will arrive within minutes, as the companies have cars placed throughout residential areas.
I’m not sure if I should bring my appliances. What is the electric current, Hz and plug shape in your city?
In Kenya, the electrical supply is 220 volts alternating current at 50 hertz, like in Europe. The electricity system is working fine, although there are periodic black-outs - especially in the rainy seasons - and rationing (severe during year 2000) if there has been no rain.
When power is reconnected there is often a sudden high voltage surge, which can damage sensitive electrical components (e.g., audio equipment and computers). Brown-outs, low power periods when the light bulbs only glow instead of burning brightly, are equally dangerous to equipment. For both of these problems you are advised to invest in voltage regulators, which plug into the electrical outlet. Refrigerators, freezers, television sets, stereos, and computers should all be protected. The voltage regulators are available in almost all the better electrical goods stores in Kenya.
Although houses can sometimes be rented with a cooking stove and/or refrigerator in place, we advise you to import your hard furnishings because purchasing them locally can be very expensive.
Do you have any other accommodation information that might help me?
Usually insurance for the house will be included in the lease, but it is up to you to insure the furniture and other personal belongings. The insurance should cover events such as fire, lightning, storm damage, earthquake, explosion, riot and strike, bursting or overflowing water tanks, and theft.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.