Why UN employees are unhappy with Nairobi landlords

By Vincent Kejitan | Thursday, Jun 6th 2019 at 11:33
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A number of United Nations employees residing in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, have expressed their displeasure at landlords who refuse to refund their rent deposits once they vacate their houses.

The staff claimed that landlords often come up with baseless arguments to hold on to their money and this is injuring the reputation of Kenya.

Through a letter addressed to Ambassador Rose Makena Muchiri, the Permanent Representative to the Kenya Mission for United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON), the staff stated that landlords never refund their deposits at the end of their stay in Kenya.

“It is now widely-acknowledged that one of the key negative reasons expats and UN staff are apprehensive of serving in Kenya is this threat.

“I believe this is causing serious reputational damage that could be unwarranted if addressed properly and transparently,” says UN Nairobi Staff Union president Martin Njugihu in the letter.

It further reads: “UN Nairobi Staff Union will form a committee that will explore various options available to tackle this issue. We believe the matter has reached such a level that requires immediate action.”

Most UN employees live in upmarket neighborhoods like Gigiri, Runda and Kilimani where house rent is roughly Sh100,000 per month.

Residents in most middle class estates in Nairobi are familiar with this tale as landlords often come up with excuses whenever they demand to be refunded.

Most ask for an equivalent of two months’ rent as deposit but once you give notice that you want to vacate the house, dubious quotations come up.

Landlords are notorious for exaggerating damages and cost of painting and repair. 

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