Here Are 10 Things About Moving House In The City
1. Deposit gani!
Don’t even bother with the fine print when signing your lease agreement. Every term and condition favours the landlord. So, consider the deposit non-refundable. Those who make an attempt to refund it will give you back peanuts, after coming up with all manner of excuses to retain as much of the money as is greedily possible – from replacing that sink you broke when you moved in 10 years ago, to painting the house and other repairs.
2. Sh 5k piece of paper
If you intend to move hoods to South B, be prepared to fork out between Sh5,000 and Sh10,000 for a lease agreement. Yes, that’s the cost of the two pages of stapled, photocopied papers with unnecessary legal jargon that the landlord will flout on your first day in the house, and not even bother to refer to when you are moving.
3. If you do not like it, move out
The thing about Nairobi tenants is that they are like beggars – they can’t afford the luxury of being choosy. You move into a house and are immediately confronted by everything that is wrong. The toilet does not flush. The balcony is on the dusty side of the road. The kitchen is too tiny, even a malnourished person will have trouble fitting in. One of the bedrooms doesn’t have a window and lights have to be on 24/7. Well, if you don’t like it, go build yours or move out, that seems to be the attitude from the landlord who wants his money two days before the beginning of the month at the very latest.
4. If it is broken, you fix it
That faulty electric socket or the leaking tap will never be repaired after you move in – even after pleading, begging and praying to the caretaker. Just get your own plumber and electrician to fix the problem if you want peace of mind.
5. Harmonised rates
Times were when estates like Umoja, Doonholm and Buruburu had different rent rates. Nowadays, a two-bedroom ‘modern’ house in any of these hoods goes for more or less the same amount. The distance from the CBD is no longer a rent determinant. It is more about how well-tiled the house is, availability of water and finishing, even if the house is in Huruma.
6. Added ‘value’
Keep in mind that your ultimate rent is not the amount on the lease agreement. Either by design or default, the caretakers and the landlords never mention additional costs like security and garbage collection that is bound to derail your monthly budget. This is besides ‘service charge’ to manicure the lawn in the estate and sweep the parking lot.
7. 100 rowdy brats
Only a misanthrope can really hate children. But most bachelors loathe flats with 100 brats playing on the ground floor, and ruining that afternoon music session indoors. Before moving, carry a background check on the estate.
8. Beba beba
You will never know how poor you are until you realise all your worldly belongings can fit in one pick-up truck!
9. Junk jail
It’s only when moving that you realise how much trash you have in the house. But being a prisoner of junk, some of these ‘garbage,’ like old clothes, books, utensils you have never used and those worn-out shoes that took you to your first job, will find its way to the new home for one sentimental reason or another.
10. Lost and not found
No matter how careful you are, something is going to get lost. This is the law of moving that will see a phone charger, birika, vest or T-shirt defy the law of physics and just vanish into thin air. It is what you get for hiring dubious, but enthusiastic kanda ya moko guys to help you move.