What issues can I negotiate with the landlord in Kenya?

Updated: Apr 14

You may be in dilemma asking yourself which specific issues you may need to negotiate with your landlord but the truth is always keep an open mind because this varies from one tenant to another and that you may negotiate almost anything with your landlord from drainage to security with the exception of the legally guaranteed rights under category one clause as expounded above.


To get you to speed on some of the specific issues for negotiations kindly consider pets and guests if you are certain you will be visited by your friends often. Due to high unemployment rate in Kenya, many tenants have devised various means of self employment among forcing them to work from their homes or houses as their offices.

The home business concept can be a subject of negotiation to ensure that the lease or rental agreement doesn’t state that the house or apartment is for residential purposes only. If the lease specifies so, be honest and ask the landlord if he could cross out that clause to enable you do your business without limitations.


It is of more concern where you will be expecting your clients on a regular basis to avoid inconveniencing other tenants and neighbors. You may be among those running children day-care for the neighbors or maybe do some baking or even run musical classes at a fee. If so, then it is important to consult with the landlord on what kind of home business you may intend to run and have him consent to it in writing to avoid future problems.

If your landlord permits you to run a home business, you may be required to have licences that are a prerequisite of any business of that similar kind within your county. Ensure you check with the county council licensing department to ascertain whether you may need a licence for your business in the first place and if so the specific requirements in applying for such a license.


Another issue that you may consider negotiating with your landlord is about roommates. From the earlier discussion, roommates are treated as co-tenants and therefore the landlord may have say on the maximum number of roommates he may allow on a particular house or apartment.


Kenyan laws are silent on issues of co-tenants and therefore as a tenant you may find it hard to get legal provisions a that can back you on this but this kind of clauses belong to the forth category as earlier discussed and therefore negotiable.

It will not pain you in asking the landlord to allow a certain number of roommates for example, if the agreement states that only two roommates are allowed, then try asking him to allow three and offer additional compensation for and damages that may be caused. Other alternative approach may be to promise to pay a higher rent than other or even a higher security deposit if he was to allow you to have three roommates.


This is a common situation encountered by students at various colleges, universities and other educational institutions who choose to share rooms (hostels) with other students with the main goal of reducing cost.

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