Renting homes in Ethiopia

The Ethiopian rental home market is vast, but is not very streamlined or standardized as in many parts of the world. In Ethiopia, one can find all sorts of homes for rent, from large, impressive houses, to small rooms inside very shabby houses. Rents can range from as low as a few Ethiopian birr per month, to tens of thousands of Ethiopian birr per month.

Home rentals in Ethiopia are predominantly in the form single family homes and rooming houses inside people’s homes. It is not very common to find modern apartment complexes that house many tenants in one place. If there are a few of these types, they are owned by the government and are targeted at certain people, such as the military or civil service employees.

The more modern Ethiopian homes are typically compounded homes that include a main living quarter, including living room, bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchen. Inside such a compound, one will also find service quarters where maids and other service people live in. And in many cases, one or more of the service quarter rooms may also be rented for extra income.

Due to the dramatic home price appreciation that occurred during this decade, rental prices have also gone up with it. What used to rent for 1000 birr per month is now commanding ten times as much. Also, due to the constant influx of workers from the country side and smaller towns into the cities, there may be shortage of rental homes in some neighborhoods in Ethiopia and especially during busy seasons of the year. And, oftentimes, this leads into higher asking prices for rental homes.

Rental home brokerage business in Ethiopia is not that well developed. Buyers and sellers rely on agents locally called “Delalas” for renting homes. These are local agents who know the neighborhoods and who basically mediate between renters and landlords. A great deal of negotiation is involved in renting homes. First quote prices can be substantially higher than the final prices. So, in many cases, one has to be prepared to negotiate with the landlord. Typically, the “Delalas” are paid commissions by both the renter and landlord on equal split basis. The fees can range from 10% to 100% of the rental price per month, depending on how long the Ethiopian home is rented for.

So, who rents homes in Ethiopia? All kinds of people rent homes in Ethiopia, including young people (single and married) who haven’t yet owned their own homes, students coming from out of state for study, day laborers who need a small place to retire for the night, Ethiopians coming from abroad to visit families, foreigners coming to Ethiopia for work or visit, etc.

Ethiopians coming from abroad and foreigners coming to Ethiopia for various reasons typically rent homes in some of the upscale neighborhoods in Ethiopia, such as Bole in Addis Ababa. They opt for relatively expensive houses that rent from 10,000 birr per month to prices many times more than this. In some cases, the owners stay inside the compound during the rental period, living inside the service quarters. However, this must be disclosed and agreed upon before hand so both the renter and landlord know about it.

To see the latest listing of residential and commercial properties for rent or sale, please visit Ezega.com. Ezega.com is the largest real estate portal in Ethiopia and lists hundreds of homes for sale and rent at any given time. Anyone can register and post properties for sale or rent for free.