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7 Simple Steps to Help You Find a Perfect Rental Property

Before embarking on your search for a new rental home, there are a few steps you need to take for you to find the right home for yourself and or family.

We promise that if you diligently follow these necessary steps, the home you end up with might be even better than what you planned for.

These are the 7 steps to finding your perfect rental home.

  1. What are your needs?

This involves careful consideration of why you are seeking a rental home in the first place. Whether you’re single or have a large family with small children, everyone has different needs and will be looking for something specific to suit their lifestyle.

At this point, you need to consider what the most important aspects are for you when renting. It’s also wise to take note that you might not get exactly what you are looking for. Keeping an open mind is key.

In most cases, you might find a home in a perfect location and size which might just end up being way off your budget. This is why we insist that you need to be flexible and realistic about what you are looking for.

  1. Set a realistic budget

Deciding on a budget goes hand-in-hand with what your needs are.

Consider a family looking for a rental home? The budget will be slightly higher since you would be looking for a 3 or 4 bedroom to cater to your family’s needs. Unlike a single chap looking for a one-bed apartment.

Your needs should inform your budget. Don’t set a budget like that of a single chap if you know you have a family.

  1. Decide on your locations

Although you might have your heart set on a location because are familiar with or you have friends and family living there, it’s always good to keep an open mind and let your budget drive your search. Not the other way around.

  1. Start property viewings

Book site visits with real estate agents. Don’t take their word for the truth. Or what you see on their websites. Make a physical property visit.

Don’t worry if the first property you see isn’t right. Keep making viewing appointments. This whole time we keep insists that you keep an open mind, be alive to the fact that what you’re searching for might not exist.

Go on viewings for a few properties to gauge what’s available and if you find something you really like, don’t waste time, for you might not be the only one keen on that home. The rental market in Nairobi is competitive and chances are it’s already being eyed up by someone else.

  1. Make your best offer

By the time you get to this point, the ball is in your court. When you’ve found a property you like, it’s time to make an offer with the agent. Instantly, if you are sure it is what you want.

We recommend offering as close to the asking price as possible to increase your chances of being able to rent the property. However, this is your decision and you shouldn’t necessarily rule out properties if they’re over your budget.

  1. Pay your deposit and sign the agreement

The process of sorting out your paperwork is simultaneous to paying the deposit and first month’s rent and signing your tenancy agreement. Your real estate agent will guide you on this. That is why we also encourage that you deal with professional real estate companies.

  1. Move into your home

After all these processes are complete, it’s finally time to move in! Congratulations!

The keys for your new rental home will be available on the day your tenancy starts, so make sure you organize any removal companies and transport around when you’re able to collect the keys from your estate agent.

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The Due Diligence Checklist for Home Buyers

Due diligence is an investigation of potential investment prior to making a commitment in order to confirm all facts and keep an investor and his/her resources safe before entering into a transaction. It is considered a reasonable act expected of anyone who is thinking of investing.

In real estate, due diligence is defined as a  buyer’s obligation to do an investigation of the property to determine whether he/she is satisfied.  During this period, the buyer conducts an in-depth analysis of the condition of the property and the feasibility of purchasing the property.

If the buyer finds defects in the property mid-process, he/she is allowed to cancel the purchase of the property due to unsatisfactory results. Below are some key things to consider during the due diligence process;

Find out What the Market Offers

The state of the market usually affects the pricing of property. When there is a high demand for property with a lack of supply of good quality property, then prices of houses tend to rise and vice versa. However, a large supply of housing that is in high demand translates to higher pricing as there might be buyers in the market who are willing to pay whatever it takes to acquire the property.

Knowing what the market offers will ensure that you do not end up paying more than you should. For example, having information like over-supply of office space in certain areas will help someone who wants to buy commercial space get a good bargain on office space.

Inspect the Property

If you want to end up with a nice home, you need to be strategic. The rule of thumb is; “do not make payment for a property that you have not seen”. Fraudsters are everywhere looking for who to con next, and given the sacrifices you have made to save enough to buy your own home, be very careful who you give your money to.

After confirming that a property exists, ensure that you scrutinize it top to bottom looking for issues that would cost you extra money to fix. Renovating property is a huge expense; therefore ensure you get estimates for work before you decide to move forward with the purchase if at all you decide to buy property that has issues to be fixed.

If you are in a position to hire a home inspector to do this the better, if not make sure you do it thoroughly. Having a second or third opinion is highly recommended for this.

Appraise & Valuate Property

An appraisal is an estimate of the value of a property, also defined as the opinion of the market value of a property. A valuation, on the other hand, is done to establish “exactly how much a property is worth”. Property appraisal and valuation are necessities for successful real estate purchase.

A valuation report usually includes details like its location, legal description, value, improvements, land use as well as information on comparative sales in the area. This information will help you review the future performance of your property, therefore lets you know if the particular property is a good investment opportunity or not.

Investigate Title/Transaction Documents

You need to establish legal ownership of property you are buying from someone. For a home that already exists, there has to be a public record showing that the seller of this property has legal ownership. To facilitate this, ensure you do a title search at the Lands Registry, Ardhi House to avoid issues like a long lost aunt claiming ownership of property that you have already paid for.

Such issues are costly to address, and you need to sort them out with the previous owner before you inherit a problem you don’t want to have.

Ensure you hire a conveyance lawyer to facilitate the Purchasing process and draw Agreements based on terms acceptable to both you and the seller.

Check for Government Regulations/Zoning Issues

Check for issues that could have an impact on the property you want to acquire or a building you want to put up. Find out things like whether your home will lie in a flood zone are or if the renovations you plan to do, if any, will cause some environmental hazard to your future neighbours.

Ensure that you are well conversant with National Construction Authority Act (NCA) to avoid buying property that will letter get the big ‘X’ sign for demolition after pouring all your savings into it.

Bottom line, when purchasing real estate, it is up to you to ensure that you get the asset that you are paying for, given the risks involved in real estate purchase could be as high as the perceived benefits. A good practice would then be to have a due diligence checklist to guide you through the process.

Source | Buy Rent Kenya

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OPEN DAY – Serene Park Villas Invite!

Pristine 4 bedroom villa located in Machakos. Built up area is 3400 sq.ft. Amenities are Fire Alarm, Additional Water Storage, Private Garden,  Parking, Visitor Parking, Swimming Pool, GYM Clubhouse, Community Center, Security,    Waste Disposal, Borehole, Fence, Solar Water heating, Entertainment Area, DSQ (Domestic Servant Quarters)

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Kenya’s Real Estate Industry Goes Hi-tech With Blockchain

Land Layby Kenya Ltd, a Kenyan leading real estate and fintech company, operating in 4 other countries is set to launch the minimal viable product (MVP) for Africa’s first multinational Blockchain powered land registry early 2018.

The platform, which shall be accessed using a special digital utility key called the Harambee token, will transform the way we buy and sell real estate by doing away with the hidden costs, unnecessary intermediaries, and reduce transaction time significantly.

It will enhance data security and eliminate manual errors and duplication of verification processes.

Generally, the Blockchain contains a certain and verifiable record of every transaction ever made, which mitigates the risk of double spending, fraud, abuse, and manipulation of transactions.

The crypto economics built into the Harambee Token provide incentives for the participants to continue validating blocks, reducing the possibility of external influencers to modify previously recorded transaction records.

Land Layby Holdings hopes to permanently address the trust gap by disclosing land and land options to the public, but with special privacy requirements.

The initial role of the platform will be to provide a mirror reflection of the Government Land Registry systems.  Cryptocurrencies have made a strong impact on payments, remittances, and foreign exchange.

Read more 

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Kajiado Governor Lenku Bans Subdivision of Rural Land into ‘Uneconomic’ Units

Hundreds of people may find themselves with worthless titles to pieces of land in Kajiado over the advertisement of “fake” plots for sale in the county, Governor Joseph Ole Lenku has warned.

Mr Lenku, who made the statement over the weekend, also indicated that the county will not be approving the subdivision of any rural land into “uneconomical” pieces.

“Any hawking of quarter-acre pieces of land in the heart of Kajiado is fake and will not be tolerated and that is the official position of the Kajiado County Government,” said Mr Lenku.

By this edict, Mr Ole Lenku will find himself on a collision course with land-buying companies that buy large pieces of land and subdivide it into small portions of up to an eighth and later sell it unsuspecting persons.

Most affected is land in Kajiado West, some parts of Kajiado East and Central.

The County Executive in charge of land, Mr Hamilton Parseina, gave the example of a group ranch in Kajiado West, which was subdivided and members acquired title deeds.

“Other areas in Kajiado West include, Oltinga, Ilnaroj and Saikeri,” he explained.

“In Kajiado East, we have land in Kisaju, Isinya, Mashuru and Kenyawa, while in Kajiado Central we have Matapatato and Ildamat.”

He warned people who are planning to buy land in these areas to do due diligence before forking out their hard-earned money.

“We are not going to do any approvals for whatever kind of development in these areas as it is illegal,” added Mr Parseina.

Welcomes investors

Mr Ole Lenku, however, maintained that the county welcomes investors but that land demarcation plans should be respected.

“We want to make it clear that Kajiado is an investment-friendly county,” he explained.

“We have land for industries, housing, ranching and wildlife. It should strictly be used for what it was intended for. If you find yourself in an area designated for wildlife, do not attempt to make it a human settlement.”

He said that unscrupulous businessmen have colluded with crooked land officials to short-circuit the system.

“Stand warned that if you are trying to split land beyond what the county has zoned for, know that it is an exercise in futility. If you bribed your way to get, we shall right it,” said the governor.

Mr Ole Lenku vowed to preserve the Maasai pastoral way of life.

“We want to also recognise that Kajiado is largely a pastoralist county other than for the designated areas.

“Uneconomic” units

Mr Parseina told the Nation that subdivision of land into “uneconomical units” is unlawful and that the county government has not been involved.

“Most of the land being subdivided is listed as agricultural land. What they are doing is illegal,” he said on phone.

The National Land Commission has expressed support over the move. NLC vice-chair Abigael Mbagaya said the Commission had received hundreds of complaints about plots that are 200 kilometres away from their advertised locations.

“The adverts are misleading. We urge investors to do due diligence with the county government.

Most of the small plots being hawked are unsustainable,” said Mrs Mbagaya

Source | Business Daily

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Tax Alert: Real Estate Sector

The Kenya Revenue Authority published a notice on 4 October 2017 in the dailies requiring all bottled water, soda in polyethylene terephthalate (PET), energy drinks, other non-alcoholic beverages, food supplements and cosmetics to have an excise stamp. This requirement will apply to both manufactured and imported products.

In light of this, we have prepared a tax alert for your general knowledge on the impact of this circular in order to keep you well-versed and compliant with the recent tax changes in Kenya.

2017G_06013-171Gbl_Indirect_Kenya – Excise stamps on non-alcoholic beverages (003)

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Is Tenancy Giving You A Headache? Try Property Management

In our earlier post, we talked about Tenancy. If you missed it, catch it here. If what we said sounds a bit daunting and you’re looking for an easier option, then handing over the responsibility of the tenancy to a dedicated property manager can take away some of the stress of renting out a property.

Our Property Management package includes the following services:

  • A dedicated Property Manager to handle day-to-day responsibilities
  • Transfer of utilities
  • Rent collection
  • Monthly statements or an online management system to allow paperless record keeping and income & expenditure tax reporting. Check out the My Foxtons online client portal demo for more details.
  • 24-hour helpline with contact details should an emergency arise
  • Peace of mind that any necessary works will be carried out by vetted, insured and reliable contractors
  • Annual property inspections with a full report and recommendations for any works
  • Co-ordination of legally required safety checks to ensure your property meets legal standards
  • Legal support and advice where necessary

For more details, get in touch with one of our property experts or take a look at our Property Management page.  Whether you decide to utilise our property management service or take on the responsibility for yourself, we wish you a successful tenancy! If you’re interested in knowing how much your property is worth, then take advantage of our free valuation service get in touch with us.

About Sunland RE: We are a vibrant professional real estate firm committed to providing superior services to our clients. Drawing on our people’s in-depth experience, Sunland provides consistent and client focused services.

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Inflated Land Prices Begin to Haunt Sellers in Nairobi, Machakos

High land prices are forcing dealers in Nairobi and surrounding areas to cut down on their acquisitions as most people cannot afford the inflated prices.

Brian Mwandawiro of Amani Real Estate Agents Kenya, for instance, says they slashed new acquisition of land by 35 per cent to 40 per cent because of low demand. “Some industry players have been inflating land prices, thus scaring away potential buyers,” said Mwandawiro.

Buying and selling land has been a booming business for the last 10 years. But now, many land buying companies are grappling with low sales due to low demand caused by inflated property prices.

David Ngao, an agriculturalist in Kilimambogo in Machakos County, who manages a farm in the area, and has been interacting with a number of land buyers who come for site visits, says he pities such investors because they are being overcharged by land brokerage companies.

“Here, an acre goes for Sh120,000 if you buy directly from a land owner. On the other hand, you can pay as much as Sh150,000 for a 50 by 100 feet piece of land in the same location if you buy from a brokerage firm,” says Ngao.

In its 2012 Wealth Report, Real Estate Management Company Knight Frank ranked Nairobi as the fastest-growing real estate market in the world, outpacing cities like Miami and Monaco.

This was at a time when real estate agents were in the middle of their honeymoon, enjoying the boom in business.

However, the honeymoon now seems to be coming to an end with competition in the once lucrative venture seemingly becoming stiff. “Kenyans are becoming more and more informed.

Some are searching for information online while others are getting consultancy services, making it hard for them to be duped into buying,” says Mwenda Thuranira, the CEO MySpace Properties Kenya. In the third quarter of 2016, Hass Consult reported that on average, land prices in 18 Nairobi suburbs increased by 1.4 per cent. The increase was the highest ever since 2014.


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How to Make Your Tenancy Successful

As much as we’d like them to, tenancy – i.e. the possession of land or property as a tenant don’t always go according to plan. Making renting as a service a bit tricky.

Usually, the reasons for this are outside the landlord’s control. However, while it’s impossible to foresee every potential issue, there are measures you can take to prepare for the most common issues that might arise.

As we look forward to the remainder of the year: make your tenancy stress-free, by following our five top tips to ensure your tenancy runs smoothly.

1. Make Yourself Available

You see, it is believed that the wealthy – those owning properties to rent are busy people. Making it near impossible for the tenant and the landlord to ever meet. But, when first moving into a property, we have found out that the new tenants usually have a few questions.

Therefore we suggest that you, start the tenancy off on the right foot by making yourself available to answer calls, or perhaps meeting in person over the first few days to iron out the details. This means you can ensure your tenant knows everything they ought to know and need to know about the property they are renting out. Also, let them have a number they can call, so that in case of any problems they can reach you and you can have the problems sorted as quickly as possible.

2. Have a List of Reliable Local Contractors

In the likelihood that a problem has occurred as they usually do, with plumbing, electricity among others what then? If and when a problem occurs within your property, having your go-to people (contractors) saves time, energy and money.

This guarantees convenience for the tenant. Since your reliable contractors can sort the problems quickly and your tenant won’t need to go out of their way to find a contractor whom could end up costing you more.

3. Stay Up To Date with Regulations

Make notes or set reminders for when safety certificates are due to expire and book in repeat testing in good time to avoid falling foul of your statutory safety responsibilities.

You see, once the tenant moves in, she has entrusted you with her safety. As such it is prudent that you check safety requirements for they keep regularly changing, so it’s worth reading up on the latest regulations and keeping track of your spending and safety paperwork in case a problem arises further down the line.

4. Conduct Regular Inspection on Your Property

It doesn’t stop with your tenant moving in. Quite the contrary – you see, you need the tenant to have the best experience while on your property. For this to happen you need to make thorough follow-ups.

We advise that you call your tenants every now and then to check that everything is ok with the property. This will not only make you stay on top of any potential issues and conduct an annual inspection but also enables you to see for yourself if anything needs addressing.

Be the type of landlord that regularly touches base with your tenants. Go a step further and build up a good relationship with them, making you approachable meaning that they will be more likely to let you know of any problems and be more tolerable of any delays or difficulties surrounding rectifying it?

5. Detach Your Emotions Form the Tenancy Business

Treat this as a business transaction, not an emotional decision. When owning a property, it can be difficult not to have an emotional attachment to the building and to take any problems that occur personally. Ultimately though, the process of renting out a property is for the purpose of commercial gain, so viewing the situation objectively is key to having a successful tenancy!

So, have you found this post helpful? Let us know by leaving a comment below.