Nairobi rental house scams
Have you tried to look for an affordable rental house in Nairobi? Well, everyone who wanted cheap accommodation in Nairobi has come across the fake rental house agents of Nairobi. They are always there, waiting for the newest kid in town to scam them. The most affected areas are Westlands and Syokimau. Well, if you want to avoid losing your money to scammers in the name of affordable accommodation, follow these tips:
It is okay to pay a dirty/drunk ‘agent’ to show you a vacant house
When you decide to cut the realtors and find yourself an affordable house, be prepared to pay 500-1,500 to ‘a guy who will show you a vacant house.’ Most of these ‘agents’ are not well-groomed and could be a little drunk, so bear with them; they know the landlords who have vacant houses. However, let them know the kind of house you are looking for beforehand, your expectations, and also the payment terms. Insist to pay once you see several houses that meet your specifications. Do not allow him (they are often male) to take you off your course.
Beware of online rental house listings
There are many websites that list vacant houses for rent and also houses for sale. These include buyrentkenya, jumiahouses and property24. I have used all these to look for a house, but what I can advise you is to beware of the agents on jumiahouses. If someone gives you their office location, it is ok you can visit and insist on site visits. But if someone just sends you photos of houses and asks you to send a deposit, you could be dealing with a rental house scammer. The most common scam involves a couple that says the landlord is not available or makes you believe you should urgently pay for the house before viewing it.
Do not pay for a house that is not vacant
Have you also met those who take you to view a house that is already occupied? This is very common in Westlands. Somebody takes you to view a house and tells you something like, “This guy is moving out at the end of the month, so do not worry.” The agent then can ask you to make a deposit or tell you the landlord is not available. And they are very credible because they will confirm receiving your money, even organise meetings with ‘landlord’ or other involved parties, but on the day of moving in you will either find a new person in the house or discover that the ‘tenant’ you met the other day was just a worker in that house. The owner was not moving!
Have you been scammed when finding cheap rental houses in Nairobi? Share your story in the comments section below.