HOW TO FIND A PLACE IN GOMA
You should definitely take a look in person before deciding on any place. You can stay with members of Couchsurfing, the worldwide hospitality exchange and social network site while looking for a place. You should also visit the local group “Couchsurfing in Goma” to meet new faces in the city. Alternatively, Airbnb has a few apartments available.
Gilbert is a good real estate agent. 081 521 7805.
Rent ranges from $350 to $4,000. Most people live in shared houses and apartments. They come mostly furnished.
Most houses with access to the lake are in the Himbi neighborhood. Electricity is a little patchy there, however.
Karibu, Chalet and Grands Lacs are the only hotels that offer long-term stays.
I’d advise not to stay near the main avenue in the city center (see map below) or near the plague du peuple in Himbi. A number of residents have complained about how noisy it has become. Be careful not to live too closely to churches either as they can be very loud on Sunday mornings.
Be careful that your landlord isn’t on a UN sanctions list. It does happen as reported by RFI in February 2016.
Definitely sign a contract with your landlord. (and subletters if needed). Make sure you have a copy of your rent agreement as authorities elsewhere might later ask for it as proof of residence in Goma.
Many landlords in Goma are either reluctant or unable to pay you back your deposit. I’d strongly advice you to ask for it long in advance or withhold the last month’s payment.
You might want to take picture of any large objects that are yours when moving in. In some cases, landlords claimed he had provided the furniture or kitchen gear.
You shouldn’t pay electricity or gas by yourself but let the landlord handle it. It can be a huge headache having to deal with that yourself.
Most tenants have a cleaner to help with clothes (houses don’t have washing machines), washing dishes, buying and/or cooking food, and other regular maintenance.
To avoid frustration, have a discussion what you expect.
To find somebody, play it by ear and ask for recommendations on North Kivu Life.
If s/he comes five days a week for a few hours/day, you should spend at least around $250/month. I like to pay every two months to allow our cleaner plan her finances better. Benefits such as health care or support for children‘s education are often negotiated on an ad-hoc basis.
Most people don’t sign contracts with their staff and nobody I know pays taxes. Please discuss vacation time with your employee and consider leaving a recommendation for your cleaner on North Kivu Life once you leave.
Everybody I know has unarmed security guards at all times. There are many security companies in Goma. Latlong and KK Security are considered the most professional. UN staff get the costs (around $1,000/month) reimbursed.
- Latlong International: 097 204 5300, 081 004 1500, 099 387 0001, 081 144 2569. Info@latlongcongo.com, http://www.latlongcongo.com.
- KK Security: 081 271 1463.
- Warrior Security: 099 587 1010, 099 011 0222.
- G4S: 081 623 3798, 099 801 0717.
- Delta Protection: 081 416 5941.
- Hdw-SD Security: 099 825 96 46, 082 039 1658.
- GSA Security: 099 008 0000
- KAMI HSS: 099 349 8025.
- HADEC: 099 010 6101.
- Magenya: 099 567 8103, 081 283 1312.