Should you rent in a building that’s managed by the landlord or one operated by a property management company? Often these terms are used interchangeably, but what’s the real difference between them?
The main difference is that a landlord actually owns and manages the building. Property management companies are a third party service, hired by landlords to run the daily chores and operations of managing and maintaining their building.
If a landlord owns a very large building or owns multiple buildings, he may hire a management company simply because it can take too much time to take care of all the details efficiently.
If you rent from a landlord, you’ll be renting directly from the building owner and the building will likely be smaller. That might be a good thing if you’re looking for a bit more bargaining power.
Renting directly from the landlord will enable you to negotiate the price and the conditions in more detail than renting through a middleman, an agent. Dealing directly with the owner gives you much more flexibility in negotiating the price.
It’s safe to say that the landlord and a property manager may have differences in the size of the buildings they operate, but they have similar responsibilities. Some of these duties are:
General upkeep and cleanliness of the property
Tracking property expenses
Vetting and selecting tenants
Resolving maintenance requests and tenant complaints
It’s hard to give a definitive answer, whether to deal with the landlord or the property manager. Probably if you rent from a landlord, it will lead to a more personal relationship. So it all depends on how well you can get along with that person.
Renting in a building with a management company often means more bureaucracy. That too can be a good thing. For example, if you have a complicated maintenance request, it may get resolved faster because they’ll probably have vendors in place to handle it.