Accommodation in Kenya
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Expats 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.
Types of accommodation in Kenya
Most expats initially opt for renting property in Kenya. There's a wide range of options available, from standalone houses on big plots located away from city centres, to garden cottages, downtown apartment blocks, and housing units in townhouse complexes.
Accommodation in Kenya is usually 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 safety 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-sense 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.
Finding accommodation in Kenya
Expats looking for accommodation in Kenya should refer to online property portals. These will give a rough rundown of areas, suburbs and prices, acting as a platform for beginning the search. Real estate agents, however, are an even more helpful resource when hunting for a place to stay in Kenya. Well informed about the market, they can present expats with a bouquet of options to match their budgets and requirements, and will oversee the leasing process.
Renting accommodation 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 are advised to 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.
Lease agreements are usually undertaken on a one- or two-year basis, and require one or two month's rent as deposit money. Utility bills are not usually included in rental prices and are at an additional cost to tenants.