A residential building in Nairobi. (Courtesy)

With the vast development of rental houses in the cities, there have been an increased number of caretakers who try and strive for the available opportunities. After landing on the job, they tend to kuchanuka (enlightened) and start taking advantages of some circumstances in the apartment.

A plus on the water meter 

Since its Nairobi aka mji ya wajanja (city of the sly) caretakers try to find means of survival the obvious being addition of two to three units from the original reading of the tenants’ water meters for extra cash. They manage to do this since the water meters are placed at strategic positions where only they can be able read them.

Power to add an extra padlock

Apart from you having the right to lock your door, they have also been given the authority to add a second padlock if you delay to pay the rent. Worst is that they can go as far as evacuating you from the house if the landlord says so which they to enjoy doing. I think it’s because they want cheap attention or please those house help they had been haunting and seemed hard to get.

Water rationing

Some caretakers are promised by their landlords an additional salary if by end month the city council will read less number at the main water meter of the apartment. This motivates them to try as much as possible to ration the water for their tenants not considering their cries. If one of the tenants dares to claim of evacuating, they are even happier and try as much to let the rest of the tenants know how much his/her house used to use more water than the rest.

ALSO READ: The three sides of Caretakers

Kunyemelea single wives

Caretakers are always available since that’s their job and so sometimes are caught in temptations to snitch around the houses of single mamas asking for favors like money, sex, gossips etc. after all there is no man expected home.
End month friendship

They get more friends when it’s almost end month especially with those tenants who know that they will delay to pay rent. They use this opportunity appropriately and ask for any small favors mostly being money and can never sleep hungry unlike the beginning of the month.

Private eye

Since they are always available, they see almost everything that goes on in the plot. They know who arrives late, who cheats on who in the marriage, who smokes, who drinks, who is single, who is married etc. the list is endless. 

Multipurpose career

Most caretakers act like they studied many courses in schools and reality maybe they never went past high school level. They tend to claim like they know everything to extend that when a tenant asks for a plumber, electrician, carpet washer etc. they are the first to take the job only because of greed for money.

ALSO READ: Five types of caretakers from hell

Rent free

This is the only positive advantage that they should be proud of since in the whole apartment they are the only ones with the maids who do not pay house rent. That’s why they enjoy locking tenants houses but they should not be proud that much because this is just a sympathy from their employees to charge them given the small bedsitters that they live in.
Immediate mediators

We are all humans and living happily every day is not guaranteed especially in apartments full of different kind of people. During family fights, mboch (maids) quarrels and neighbors fight caretakers are always the immediate mediators before police even though some do not have the experience of intermediary, I think their presence only symbolizes something. 

Roam freedom

Everyone in the apartments are always either busy in their houses or at work places so it’s very hard to find any of the tenant roaming aimlessly around their neighbor’s door step since they may consider you a thief or a stalker. This is different with the caretakers because they have freedom to roam and knock at your door any time they feel like. Who are you not to open? It could a rent, water receipt or alarming issues. In most cases it’s always nothing of important