Renting A House vs Renting an Apartment: Factors to Consider

Knowing whether to rent a house or an apartment in Kenya is a crucial decision with pros and cons. Read on to find out more.

In the past, when you thought of renting a house or an apartment, the only thing you would have to think about was how much it would cost. Nowadays, the choice depends on many factors. You have to think of how much traffic you have to endure to get to your destination, pet policy, if you can paint the house, the water pressure, amongst others.

Choosing between a house or an apartment doesn’t have to be a mind-boggling task. To make that decision easier for you, we will break down the important factors you need to keep in mind and share the pros and cons of each.

Important Points to Remember

1. Research On The Area

Whether you are looking for a house or an apartment, it is important to carry out your own research and find out about the area and its environs. Is there a school, or a hospital nearby? In case of an emergency, how long does it take to get assistance? How quiet is the neighbourhood? How safe is the location?  Doing prior research on your own will help you find the best place which will meet your housing needs

READ ALSO: Guides to Nairobi Neighbourhoods & Suburbs

2. Amenities Available

When looking to rent, the amenities are an integral part of your search if you want to get your money’s worth. For instance, in Kenya, there are places that are known for perennial or intermittent supply lack of water. Or maybe you want a house with a pool. Before you decide to pay for any property, it’s wise to speak to the landlord if you have any concerns so that he is able to sort them out before you move in.

3.  Ask for Repairs Before Payment

Whether you are moving to a house or an apartment, if you have any changes that you think the landlord should make, then you should do it before making any form of payment. For instance, if you want him to repaint the house or fix a cabinet that’s broken, chances of him actually doing it before you move in are high.

4. Inspect The Property

Whether you are renting a house or an apartment, it is always important to do an inspection of the entire house. You can take notes or photos of the house before you move in to see the state of the property. Many people overlook this important step and look at it as a waste of time but in real essence, it will help to secure your deposit when it’s time to move out. You can keep one copy to yourself and have the landlord sign the other one.

Pros of Renting a House

1. Privacy

If you rent a house, you are guaranteed to have private space because you and your family will be the only tenant in that compound. There won’t be nosy neighbours always prying into your business or wondering what you are up to.

2. Bigger Living Space

Renting a house will give you more living space when compared to renting an apartment. You will get more rooms, bathrooms, bigger floor space, and have an own compound that can be used for playing if you have children or host parties. Another good reason why you should consider renting a house is you can find one with a pool which you will enjoy with family and friends.

3. Freedom

If you like pets such as dogs or cats, you have the freedom to have them on your property and take care of them. If you love gardening, some landlords will allow you to grow and take care of your plants. However, keep in mind that ultimately, whatever you plant will be the landlord’s property.

Cons of Renting a House

1. Expensive

One disadvantage of renting a house compared to an apartment is its cost- due to the extra space and amenities you get from renting a house.  The cost of maintaining your house, for example, when fixing the roof or the drainage system could also be costly and time-consuming.

2. Higher Utility Bills

Living in a single house means that the utility bills become higher as compared to when you are in an apartment. You will have to take care of the service charge on your own if you have leased the property.

3. Complicated Landlords

If you rent a house, you have to work closely with the landlord and have open lines of communication. This will make your life and stay in their house much easier. If you come across a landlord who has many demands and rules on what you can and can’t do on his property, you might not want to stay there any longer. He may also decide to renew your lease whenever he wants.

READ ALSO: 7 Frustrating Ways a Landlord Can Harass You  

Advantages of Renting an Apartment

1. Save Money

It is cheaper to stay in an apartment. Space is limited – you don’t have your own compound, garage or open area to yourself. The utility bills are cheaper because some of the meters are shared with other people in the apartment. Maintenance of the property is not left to you to do on your own.

2. Security

It is perceived that when you live with people, you feel safer and secure. If anything were to happen in your house, your neighbours would be on the lookout and inform you about it. You build a community when you live with people which creates a safety net in case of an emergency.

3. Shared Amenities

Depending on what is important to you, you can find an apartment that provides shared amenities such as a gym and a swimming pool. You won’t have to pay extra charges to enjoy these facilities.

READ ALSO: Renting Your First Apartment: Things You Need to Consider

Disadvantages of Renting an Apartment

1. Strict Rules

Because you are not the owner of the property, you don’t have the luxury of making it look the way you want it to. You can’t make changes or renovations without the consent of the landlord. There are also other apartments that don’t allow people with children to stay in them.

READ ALSO: The Landlord and Tenant Bill 2021

2. Less Space

You don’t have adequate space as compared to the one you’d get when you rent a house. Some apartments don’t provide a compound where the children can play.

At the end of the day, many factors come into play that will help you decide whether to live in a house or an apartment. Look at your needs in terms of space and privacy, the location you want to live in and your budget then make a decision. 

EABL, Formerly at BuyRentKenya
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