The 2012/2013 National Housing Survey in Kenya indicated that the majority of the
population living in urban areas are renters. This study aims to find out why people
rent, what kind of housing units are attractive and the new areas that middle income
households prefer in Nairobi and its outskirts. The study will also establish whether
these renters choose renting as an alternative to purchase even when they can afford

The study will carry out interviews in selected areas of Nairobi and its outskirts. The
study hopes to establish that the rental market is dynamic and any developer planning
to construct houses for this market must understand it first. There are several
reasons already identified in literature as to why people rent. These include mobility,
renting allows people to remain mobile and move when their work place changes or
when a better job becomes available elsewhere. A second reason given is flexibility.
Renting also gives people considerable freedom over how to manage household budgets.
It can also free up some money for their basic needs. The fact that the amount
paid is not large renting frees renters from major financial commitment. With more
funds available renters are able to support other relatives in rural areas. Renting
also brings to focus the landlord and tenant relationship, with associated problems
of non-payment of rent, poor maintenance and repair culture and tenant evictions.

The study hopes to come up with key policy suggestions. That is because not everyone
prefers home ownership, governments must stop promising universal homeownership
and be more sensitive to the needs of the renter and therefore be tenure
neutral. That governments need to come up revised legislation that governors the
landlord and tenant relationship.