NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenyan property owners are shunning housing
agents to cut costs as rents stagnate in the capital of Nairobi.
mainly those with residential properties, are instead relying on
caretakers of their premises.
The caretakers are
doing part of the work of agents by engaging potential tenants,
advertising for houses and ensuring rent is paid.
Agents charge a
commission of between 5 percent and 20 percent to do various
work for property owners.
however, are now finding the charges too high as incomes from
houses shrink especially in the capital Nairobi and some units
stay empty for months.
“I had to do away
with the agent because his services became expensive. He was
charging me a one-off fee of 7 percent of rent paid when he
brings a tenant and 5 percent to ensure rent is collected every
month,” Samson Ateka, a landlord in Ruai on the outskirts of
Nairobi, said on Thursday.
Ateka found the
services expensive after his houses experienced high turnover of
“They would come,
stay a month or so and leave. The agent would bring another
tenant and each time I would pay commission. This turned out to
be expensive,” said Ateka, who even suspected that it was the
agent who was making the tenants leave for him to earn
The businessman with
a block of flats that he rents out at 250 dollars a month for
three bed-room said his caretaker is doing the work for him.
Some landlords with
block of flats, on the other hand, are joining hands to work
with a single agent instead of each hiring separately.
Antony Kuyo of Avent
Properties in Nairobi, a property management firm, acknowledged
that rent in most suburbs bordering Nairobi has stagnated
following oversupply of houses, mainly due to increased
construction of apartments.
“Some houses are
staying for months without tenants. This raises costs because
the landlord has to pay for maintenance and standing charges on
water and electricity bills. We as agents also lose income when
the houses stay vacant because there is no rent to collect,” he