Some landlords blur the line between tenants paying money to use their properties and guests who must follow rules created for personal enjoyment.  Some of the rules instituted by landlords are downright ridiculous. 

This is especially common in DSQ situations.  One lady in South B went as far as telling her tenant that she could not have guests over past 10 pm. The landlord and the tenant were not related.  She had no right whatsoever to put such restriction. 

One thing is true though, if you find the rules too stringent then by all means find someplace else to live.  Nairobi is teeming with rental options.  Do not let anyone trample on your rights as a tenant.  Below are some examples of the stupid and totally ludicrous rules tenants have had to contend with.  How these landlords think it is okay to make up such is beyond comprehension. 

1. Curfew

Unless you are a cop acting in an official capacity or parent keeping your child on a straightened arrow you have no business setting a curfew for anyone. Especially not an adult. Imagine a person who works, pays their own bills and even shaves being told they cannot stay out late past a certain hour. The consequence being that the watchman will not let them into a house they pay rent for. If one wants to live this kind of life, are they not better off moving into a hostel?  Even parents loosen the leash once their children reach a certain age.  It is amazing the audacity a landlord has to have their tenants locked in the building before midnight. 

However, as the saying goes-to each his own.  If you feel like you can adhere to this comfortably then by all means do it.  If you cannot live that kind of life then find an alternative.  No need to get yourself evicted for causing drama in the building. 

2. Guests

This one is actually quite common.  Some landlords restrict their tenants from being visited overnight.  This has been seen in other countries especially in the Middle East where foreigners cannot have guests past a certain time. 

If you run into such then forget about hosting your friend from out of town for a bit or having your siblings visit for a weekend.  The landlord feels that the utility bills will be adversely affected by your hospitality.  As soon as a landlord tells you that he does not allow roommates in bedsitters then you should expect this kind of rule. 

3. Utility cap

If the landlord carries the responsibility of utility bills then you should not be surprised if the power gives out if you plug in a water heater or iron box.  Some landlords like to do this with both electricity and water.  They want to keep the operating costs of the building very low.  They will at that power and water are free but then provide them insufficiently.  This is yet another common practice.  There is a particular building in Madaraka with that particular problem.  Water can be understandable when there is rationing. 

4. Automatic deduction on deposit

Ideally you should get the entire amount of your deposit refunded when you are moving out.  Some landlords may deduct the mount for a few damages like a broken tile.  However, others will put fine print in the rental agreement that the deposit will be less a certain amount for reasons that are never quite clear enough.  This is why you should read every word of your tenancy agreement.  The landlord should provide an explanation if you are not getting he entire amount.  This is especially common when the landlord tells you to move and come back for your money at a later date.  Nairobi landlords will use this time to come up with bogus deductions.  All damage should be jointly inspected and agreed upon.

5.  Long notice

Imagine a situation where you are required to inform the landlord of your intention to move a full two months to the date?  Some of these tenancy agreements that you are rushed to sign have the most unscrupulous terms.  The standard period of notice is one month.  Even then, this is not often followed to the letter.  Most landlords will understand if you have a situation that could not have been predicted and will let you off easy.  However there is a special brand of Nairobi landlord who to feed off the tears of tenants.  This has been seen quite often in commercial real estate.  In some cases they use this as grounds to retain the deposit. 

6. Specific groups

Discrimination is rampant.  This is especially true of discrimination against single mothers.  Many have told tales of being denied admission to certain buildings for being single mothers.  This has even been seen in the education sector. Due to the stereotyping, this group is deems unable to take on the responsibility of being tenants.  Another group that is often marginalized is the younger generation. Mostly men under the age of 25 who are only finishing college or working their first jobs.  This group is often discriminated against by landlords if DSQs. 

Sure, landlord can have their target tenant.  They can even decide not to admit anyone outside of their preferred demographic however, it is wrong to base the selection of tenants on stereotypical perceptions of certain people.  It may not be crime exactly but it sure is a stupid rule to have. 

The rules may be stupid to you but if you decide to disregard them then you will be in trouble with the landlord. You could even get evicted in the process. Really if you find the rules untenable then just move. Find a place with more sensible rules.