Imagine committing to one thing without an idea of what else you could have chosen? The regret that comes once you realize that you had other options. The point is not to be able to choose something else, the point is to be very sure of your choice. You should know what Nairobi has to offer by way of rentals before you decide on one option. In fact, this choice should come before choosing a location. This list of rental options in Nairobi is also useful for people who are experiencing Nairobi for the first time.

Single Rooms

This is exactly that. It is a single room. Nothing else to it. The washroom will be shared or will be outside. The only kind of kitchen you might have in this kind of setting is a sink. Otherwise you will have to designate corners for specific functions. Just ensure to keep the bedroom corner and the kitchen corner on opposite sides of the house. If you are real creative, you can turn this little room into a nice haven. The sanitation situation may be dire especially if the caretaker or landlord is not keen on keeping it clean.

Single rooms could be the cheapest rental option in Nairobi. You can get one for as low as 3,000 shillings depending on the location. If the price is too low however, ensure you are not being directed to a tin structure. You have to keep your eyes open in Nairobi.


Most have trouble differentiating this from the one above. The difference is that this one will have a washroom inside the unit. There might also be a designate kitchen area with a counter, sink and some cabinets maybe. It will be small but it will be clear. The bedroom area might also have a wardrobe. The issue of space is not much of a differentiating factor. You will not require as much creativity as the previous option to turn this space into a presentable place. You could always get some dividers and rugs though. However, this might make the space feel smaller than it really is.

You might get a bedsitter for as low as 5,000 shillings and as high as 15,000 shillings. It depends on where the house is located as well as the amenities available for the unit. Although the high-end bedsitters are advertised as studio apartments. Keep an eye out for such.


This is a domestic servant’s quarter. Any extension built in the compound also qualifies under this category. The size of the house will depend on the area as well as the landlord. Some build bedsitters while others make them into one bedroom houses. You could also find one that has exactly three rooms: bedroom, kitchen and washroom. These features will also determine how much will be charged on rent.

To find a unit like this visit cul de sacs and estates. Usually you will encounter a landlord who will be willing to negotiate the rent. The rent again varies from estate to estate. In South B, you will part with about 8,000 shillings per month. In Karen, you might be asked to pay up to may be more than 30,000 shillings per month.

Multiple Room Dwelling

This includes one, two, three and more bedroom units. Your decision should be led by how much space you will need as well as how much you can afford. Obviously if you have a family you will need more than a single room so that the house is not too cramped. Some like to have an extra bedroom to use as an office. The size of the rooms in each depends on the location. For example, you could find a spacious one bedroom house in Kitengela for half as much as you would in Madaraka with smaller rooms. If space is important to you but you are not willing to pay too much for extra rooms then you have to venture further from the CBD.

The rent again varies between neighborhoods. You should be wary of caretakers who try to skim off the top. They inflate the rent a little then ask for cash. You should know the baseline and avoid cash payments.

Apartments v Houses

You could describe the former as ‘ghorofa’ and the latter as a stand alone house. There are benefits to choosing either option. In an apartment you save money on property maintenance. In most cases, apartment buildings are located in very convenient locations while the houses are built in estates away from the bustle of the city. With a house though, you get secure parking and a compound for the children to play around in. You also get the liberty of creating your own structures within the compound like she sheds and man caves.

You can get a house as small as one bedroom in Kinoo or Rongai. You might get a two bedroom house in Umoja. You could as high as a seven bedroom house in some suburb. However, be clear on you responsibilities as far as maintenance before you decide on a house.

Room Rental

There are two ways to get access to such an option; the first is through airbnb while the other is through engaging roommates. The former option features more expensive options and most options are in high end neighborhoods. There are Kenyan platforms and social media groups where one can find roommates. These rooms are usually advertised by people who would like to make some money on their extra rooms. You might rent the room and live independent of everyone else in the house. You could also have an arrangement with the housemates where you share cooking space and chores.

Take your time to decide which option would be best for you. Most importantly remember that in Nairobi, it is everyone for himself. Be vigilant. Choose and thrive!