The ABCs of renting in Kampala

By Umar Nsubuga

Added 13th September 2017 05:17 PM

To find a house for rent may seem an easy task, but the rent costs may differ depending on the location.

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Rental apartments located in Kisaasi. Photos by Umar Nsubuga


An increasing number of people are renting and there are so many options to choose from especially when you are starting out.

To find a house for rent may seem an easy task, but the rent costs may differ depending on the location.

Renting offers more flexibility than owning a house, because you can move immediately.

According to Mike Kambugu, who has rented two-bedroom houses in three different areas, the location determines the rent.

“I used to rent a house on Gayaza Road and I was paying sh200,000. When I shifted to Kyanja, I paid sh300,000 and now I am renting in Kiwatule at sh400,000.”

Abdu-Wahab Nyanzi, an architect says the facilities and location determine the rent.

“For example, in Kisugu, there are two-bedroom houses that provide a laundry room with washing machines and rent is sh1m,” he says.

 partments located at ajjera Apartments located at Najjera

Nyanzi says the location of the property is the first concern for all potential tenants.

For various social and economic reasons, people prefer to live in certain areas. In Kisaasi, Ntinda, Bukoto, Nakawa and Luzira, Kezekia Damba, the manager of Dream Umoja Data Property Agency, says rent for two-bedroom houses in these areas is between sh350,000 and sh800,000.

For Bweyogerere, Kirinya and Kireka, John Mukisa, a broker in Kireka, says the rent ranges from sh250,000 to sh1,000,000 but some clients negotiate with landlords to pay less.

Salaama, Kibuye, Makidye, Rubaga, Mengo and Lubowa, charge between sh250,000 and sh1,200,000.


Once the tenants are aware of the location and have a general feel of the size of the rental, the next question is price.

If it is within their budget, only then will they want to see the interior.

If the cost is beyond their reach, they will re-evaluate their expectations and begin their search again for rentals at a lower cost.

Brokers’ challenges

“On many occasions, we have challenges looking for a house that meets the exact needs of the client. You can move to a good number of houses and the client fails to get the one he or she wants,” says Damba.

He adds: “Many clients do not know the exact size of the rooms they want and this becomes a problem when house hunting. It is important to know exactly what the client wants when you set out to look for a house.”

Parking and garage

Damba says landlords need to know that if they have semi-detached houses without garages, most people would prefer a parking lot rather than using the compound.

But some landlords don’t take this seriously, yet the closer the parking is to the tenant’s front door, the better, he explains.

Attracting tenants

There is no place where a landlord can go to choose their tenants. They must attract them. The more potential tenants a landlord can attract the better. However, both landlords and tenants need to behave in socially acceptable ways to exist in harmony

 partments located at iwatule Apartments located at Kiwatule

What to consider when looking for a house to rent


If you are going to be living in this house or an apartment for a while, consider the location. Is it easy to get in and out? Is it close to your place of work? Is the neighbourhood safe?


It is good to ­ first determine the size of a house or an apartment you require. Generally, you want one bedroom per person, though couples or children can share. Also consider the size of rooms like the bathroom and kitchen and the type of building the apartment is in.


While you are taking the tour of the house, get a feel of the landlord. Try also to talk to the current tenants and ­find out their relationship with the landlord. In the end, the decision to rent the house depends on a your discretion


Nyanzi says, “Although location is a primary factor, when it comes to safety, there are other things that you should consider. Do the doors have bolts, and does each bedroom have at least two exits in case of a ­ fire?”

 Bathroom facilities

He also advises house hunters to take a good look at the toilet and shower. Make sure that they are clean and are in working order.

 Windows and lighting

“Try opening and closing the windows to make sure that you can easily do so for proper ventilation,” says Nyanzi.

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