When it comes to finding a rental, many people think the terms ‘landlord’ and ‘property manager’ are interchangeable. Rental properties are typically managed by either a landlord directly or by a third party property manager. The truth is, there are some key similarities and differences between each title that are worth exploring before tenants sign on the dotted line.
For starters, the types of property managed can differ between a landlord and property manager. Although it’s not always the case, landlords typically own single family or small multi-family properties while property managers own larger multi-family homes, apartment buildings or commercial spaces.
Regardless of who manages a property, both landlords and managers have similar responsibilities. These can include: setting and collecting rent, signing lease agreements, interviewing tenants,and maintaining the property and repair requests. These responsibilities also include being present to handle tenant disputes and complaints should they arise.
Communication is key between tenants and those with whom they rent from.
If the property is managed by a landlord, any communication regarding the rental property will be between the tenant and the landlord directly. Since they own the property and rely on income from the rent check, landlords need to have a vested interest in keeping their tenants happy.
On the other hand, as larger operations, property management companies may have several people appointed to maintain proper tenant relationships. The benefit of this is that the property manager does not own the property, so they are able to handle situations in a more professional manner. Some property management companies even become involved with the community that surrounds their buildings.
For instance, Kris Thorkelson’s My Place Realty in Winnipeg remains active within both the industry and the communities where it does business by hosting tenant events and raising money to support charitable causes.
Landlords are usually running a one-man operation, so if problems arises like a leaky faucet or a broken air conditioner, it could take several days to get the issue fixed. The landlord will either have to be handy enough to make repairs, or will need to call a specialist to fix the problem.
Property management companies may have a more focused approach of dealing with repairs and maintenance. Oftentimes, they often have a team of professionals or repair people who are on call to come by and address these problems quickly.
If you are undecided about whether to rent from a landlord or property manager, you need to examine what factors are most important to you. Regardless of what you decide, be sure to research the property and try to gain knowledge through word-of-mouth from previous tenants in order to make the most informed decision.