According to a global report by Forbes two interesting things have been happening over the last few years. The number of rented houses has gone up by at least 60 per cent. However, the number of houses bought has gone down by 15 per cent. This is a trend also characteristic in Zimbabwe. The vast majority prefer renting as opposed to buying houses. In Zimbabwe, this comes as no surprise given many people cannot afford to buy houses. Since most people will inevitably rent it is worth exploring the cost of renting in Zimbabwe.

Factors To Consider When Looking For A Place To Rent

Before I look at the costs let me discuss factors you must consider. The decision of where to rent is critically important; do not trivialize it. So many things can go wrong just by having picked the wrong place to rent.


Let me start by looking at the location. Any location is known for its own unique set of attributes. For instance, there are neighbourhoods known for notorious crime. Living in such an environment might be a huge security risk. How far away is the place from essential amenities? Things like shopping outlets, health facilities, recreational facilities and the like should be close by. If you are to live too far from work, that can inconvenience you to cost and time-wise. Your choice of location should be thoroughly mused on.


This is an obvious one and is in most cases the overriding factor. However, be prudent enough to not look for something cheap only. Cheap options can be riddled so many undesirables so strike a healthy balance here. Of course, something cheap is preferable but other factors must be kept in check too.

State Of The Place

Structural and functional integrity of a building is important. Is everything that must present there? Is there anything that is not where it should be? Are there any damages to the building? Is everything working as it should? I am talking about the water system, the sewer system, power system, and so on. Before settling for a place, make sure you physically see and inspect it.

Those are the 3 most basic considerations to look into. There are others such as the capacity of the place (i.e. the number of rooms and size), the features, and the design of the place, just to mention a few. That is the little bit on factors to consider when looking for a place to rent.


When renting houses, there are two broad choices namely, renting per night and then per month.

Renting Per Night

I am just going to cite some examples so that you get the picture. I will also point out respective features so that you can relate cost to what a house or apartment offers. Here is an example: a 3-bedroomed house in a low-density residential area can cost US$75 per night. The attributes can be closeness to amenities, free Wi-Fi, DSTV, fully equipped kitchen, parking space, guaranteed power supply, reliable water supply, maid services, and round the clock security. There can be variations in terms of the number of bedrooms and other features though. Typically such houses can range from US$60 to US$80 per night. This domain deals with what some term self-service houses – it is somewhat akin to the Airbnb business model.

Renting Per Month

Rooms And Full Houses

When it comes to renting per month the range is much wider. Bear in mind I am dealing with a full main house here. The number of bedrooms, security (i.e. being gated for example), backup water supply, and backup power is some of the price determinants. The presence of super convenient features (e.g. 24-hour security) drives the price up. The location also comes into play i.e. rental prices depend on location is low, high, or medium density. This is a good place to explore prices when renting just one room. This is because the location also comes into play.

Here is the thing; one room in a high-density area can cost anything from US$10 – US$20 per month. One room in a low-density area can cost anything from US$30 – US$50. That difference is also reflected when we are dealing with full houses. The number of rooms will usually determine the price for renting the full house. The same largely applies even when dealing with cottages. Full houses rentals in high density areas range from US$200-US$500 per month, while in low density areas the rentals are from US$500-US$1500 per month. 2  Bed cottages rental costs in low density suburbs range from US$200-US$350 per month.

In summary, the rent per month varies according to location and size, amongst other things. It is possible to find a full house costing at least US$200 per month and still find some costing at least US$2000. Cottages tend to cost a bit less than the main houses of course. Due to the comparison, I highlighted before it is possible to find a full main house in a high-density area costing less than a full cottage in a low-density area.