No dollars, no house! Nairobi landlords shock tenants as start charging rent in dollars as the shilling weakens further – RUTO please!

Monday, January 29, 2024 - With the Kenyan Shilling depreciating against major currencies, including the United States Dollar, many business people are finding ways to cushion themselves against eventual losses. 

In particular, a section of landlords in Nairobi have started demanding rent payments in dollars as the Shilling continues to show signs of volatility.

According to sources, most landlords in affluent areas like Westlands, Karen, Gigiri, Runda, Kileleshwa, and Muthaiga among others are asking for rent in dollars.

Shunguli Duncan of Rock Field Properties revealed that the number of landlords demanding that rent be paid in Dollars had increased exponentially in recent times.

“Some of the owners are not local, they are expatriates. They prefer dollars because of the instability of the Kenyan Shilling,” he explained. 

Shunguli added that most of the foreign owners had used financing facilities to acquire loans to build the houses. 

Since often the loans were acquired in another country charging Dollars, they prefer having the payment in the American currency.

Shunguli who leads one of the top real estate companies in the capital explained that this cushions the landlords from loan default. 

He explained that if the owner pays USD1,000 per month to service his loans, he can list the house for a similar amount and be sure he will be able to repay the loan. 

Should the landlord decide to charge Ksh163,000 per month, he will be able to convert the money to pay the USD1,000 loan amount. Next month, if the Shilling depreciates further, the Ksh163,000 could be USD950 leading to a loan default. 

Another real estate agent who spoke on condition of anonymity remarked that many Kenyans were finding the practice lucrative.

The Kenyan DAILY POST.

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