Accommodation in Kenya

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accommodation in KenyaExpats moving to Kenya, especially those with a jaded or pessimistic attitude towards relocating to an African country, will be pleasantly surprised by the range and quality of housing options available. European expats in particular can look forward to finding accommodation that's more spacious than anything they'd be able to find back home.

Finding accommodation in Kenya

Expats looking for accommodation in Kenya should refer to online property portals. These will give a rough breakdown rundown of areas, suburbs and prices, giving you a platform to begin your search. Some of the more popular search engines are Anza and Villa Care Kenya.

Types of accommodation in Kenya

Most expats initially opt for renting property in Kenya. There's a wide range of options available, from stand-alone houses on big plots located away from city centres, to garden cottages, downtown apartment blocks, and, most popular of all, four-bedroom units in townhouse complexes. Since it's the commercial hub of Kenya, most expats end up renting property in Nairobi.

Renting property in Kenya

Accommodation in Kenya can be costly, and expats may be responsible for financing these premises themselves, which can be a significant monthly expense. Expats, therefore, should try to ensure that their employment contract contains at least some kind of provision for a housing stipend, which is common practice in the country.

Expats will find that estate agents are a tremendously helpful resource when hunting for a place to stay in Kenya. Well informed about the expat market, they'll help in presenting expats with a bouquet of options to match their budgets, and will oversee the leasing process. Lease agreements are usually undertaken on a one- or two-year basis, and require one or two month's rent as deposit money.

Property considerations in Kenya

Expats should be aware when planning their housing budgets that utility bills in Kenya can be pricey. Electricity is very expensive and water costs follow suit if piping isn't connected to the main supply. It's common for expats in Kenya to employ gardeners and domestic workers in their homes, which, although a very affordable luxury, should be factored into monthly expenses.

Another important consideration is that most expat accommodation in Kenya is unfurnished. Shipping furniture to Kenya can be a lengthy, expensive and maddening process, so it's often far easier to purchase furniture once settled in the country.

However, this approach has its shortcomings as imported furniture is notoriously expensive and locally-made articles vary widely in quality. The bottom line is that furnishing a house is another budgetary factor that demands serious consideration.


Home security in Kenya​


Home security is a concern in Kenya, as it would be in any country with such social inequality. However, most expat accommodation in Kenya has security measures in place or, if not, they can easily be installed. A typical security package will include stationed guards or night watchmen, motion-sensored outdoor lighting, burglar bars on the windows, panic buttons, and night-time intruder alarms. With these measures in place, many expats report that they feel safe in their homes in Kenya.

Safer still are townhouse complexes. Known as gated communities, access to individual units is controlled by security guards at a boom gate, which is only opened to allow residents and their visitors to come and go.

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