Renting 101: Property Manager or Landlord?


When it comes to renting property, you have two main decisions: to rent from a property manager or to work directly with the landlord, and often owner, of a property. Each option has its benefits and drawbacks, and knowing which is right for you can help you enjoy a positive rental experience.

What Are the Benefits of Renting from a Property Manager?

Renting from a property manager is a common path. Property managers don’t own the properties they manage. Instead, they step in on behalf of an owner who either lives out of town or out of the state, and they manage a property accordingly. In some cases, they work independently. In others, they work for a larger company. When an issue occurs with a rental, a property manager serves as the go-between for the landlord and the tenant. They may initiate repairs, clear expenses with the landlord, and arrange for subcontractors to fix issues with a house.

Renting with a property manager has many benefits. Because property managers have more infrastructure behind them than single landlords, renting from them is often faster and easier. What’s more, property managers are typically more efficient in the rental process, although they may require things like background checks and larger deposits.

What Are the Benefits of Renting from a Landlord?

Landlords are the people who own the home you want to rent. In some cases, they rent multiple properties and manage them on their own. In others, they only have one rental property, which they manage closely. Because they lack the same regulations as property management companies, they come in all shapes and sizes. Some landlords are attentive, others are overbearing, and still others are distracted and absent. As such, renting from a landlord is much less predictable than renting from a property manager.

That said, though, there are many benefits. For one, renting from a landlord provides a personal, one-on-one experience. What’s more, a good landlord often becomes deeply involved with his or her tenants, and will go the extra mile to ensure they’re happy and comfortable. If you get a bad landlord, though, it can be much harder to rely on them and the rental experience may not go as smoothly as you’d hoped.

Renting the Right Way

When it comes to renting a property, you’ll need to spend some time considering whether a property manager or landlord is right for you. While both have their benefits, they’re both highly circumstantial. In some cases, a landlord might be better than a property manager, and vice versa. As such, it’s essential to evaluate your personal situation and decide accordingly. This will ensure a happy rental situation for years to come.