Landlord vs. Rental Property Manager: Renting from Whom?

Landlord vs. Rental Property Manager

Do you have a rental property? Are you considering between dealing with the property on your own and hiring a rental property manager? Then, this post is just for you as it looks at all the responsibilities of a property handled by a landlord and rental property management company. Both of these approaches have their own pros and cons. It is crucial that you know about the differences between the two. Moreover, tenants can also benefit from knowing whether they should consider living in a rental managed by a rental management company or a landlord. So, what are you waiting for? Read on to find out which approach suits you best.

Landlord vs. Rental Property Manager

1. Managing Property Types

Although the landlord and the property manager are free to manage any type of property, the following property types are more commonly managed by each.

» Landlord:

Small Multi-Family properties: A landlord often manages rental properties of 2-6 units. Such a number of units can be managed by most landlords.

Single Family Home: It would not make any financial sense to hire a rental property manager to manage a single-family home owned by the landlord. Hence, the rental property is managed by the landlord.

» Property Manager:

Absentee Landlord Properties: Generally, properties that are not in the immediate area of where the landlord lives are managed by a rental management company.

Commercial Properties: Commercial properties are managed by property managers as they have better experience managing such properties.

Property Portfolios: A portfolio of properties is best managed by property managers. It includes a combination of properties.

Larger Multi-Family Properties: A rental property management company commonly manages larger multi-family buildings that consist of six units and more.

2. Communication with Tenant

There are certain differences between a rental management company and landlord when it comes to who the tenant deals with regularly concerning tenant screening, disputes, complaints, and etc.

» Landlord:
If there is only one rental being managed by the landlord, then, all communication regarding the property would be between the tenant and landlord directly.

» Property Manager:
The property manager works as the point of contact between the tenant and the landlord. Although they have the authority to make certain decisions, the property manager would need to consult with the landlord on certain issues.

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3. Lease Agreements Responsibility

There are different types of lease agreements which property managers and landlords use. The lease agreement has to be in accordance with landlord-tenant laws.

» Landlord:
A general lease agreement which is obtained from an attorney can be used by a landlord. Lease agreements are often personalized by landlords. For instance, they can add specific rules for rent collection, pet policies, and quiet hours.

» Property Manager:
A general lease agreement is used by property managers for just about every property managed.

4. Responsibility of All Laws Concerning Rentals

Although the landlord or property manager selects who to rent, there are various rules which need to be followed by the landlord.

State Laws:Each county, state, or city has its own specific housing laws and same with California landlord-tenant laws. For instance, the state laws would cover landlords providing a certain amount of time to tenants when sending a notice to evict a tenant.
Federal Fair Housing Laws: The main purpose of such laws is to prevent a certain class of people from being discriminated against when it comes to housing.
Building & Safety Codes: Certain standards have to be met by the rental property. For instance, a Certificate of Occupancy might be required in your area.

5. Repair and Maintenance Responsibility

Property repairs and maintenance are dealt by landlords and property managers in different ways.

» Landlord:
It is common for your issue to be addressed by the landlord in several days or even several weeks depending on just how severe it is. The repairs will either be done by the landlord or a specialist will take care of the issue.

» Property Manager:
When it comes to property managers, they follow a more streamlined method for dealing with issues related to repair and maintenance. They might even have a team of specialists that would be on call and will quickly handle any issues.

6. Rent Price

The price of rent that you are expected to pay depends on whether you rent from a landlord directly or a property manager.

» Landlord:
If you directly rent from a landlord, you will be able to find a cheaper property to rent as the landlord would not need to factor the cost of hiring a property manager.

» Property Manager:
When renting from a property manager, you are expected to pay an application fee. Generally, the rent price would be higher. You could get a fair deal if you sign a 2-year lease.

7. Financial Responsibility

Landlords are considered a small business owner. This is why they are expected to keep accurate records of the income and expenses as per IRS standards. Income and expenses can be better organized using financial software or apps. Make sure to keep receipts for all expenses incurred.

8. Various Tasks Need to Handle by Experts Not Landlords

It is impossible for a landlord to handle everything on their own. From the lease preparation to finding tenants to collecting rent and evicting tenants, these tasks can be time-consuming and rather overwhelming. Hence, it would be best to outsource such tasks to experts such as an attorney, realtor, contractor, property manager, and an accountant. It will help lighten the workload.

Renting from a Landlord or Rental Property Management Company?

One of the most important questions that tenants have in mind is whether they should hire directly from a landlord or choose a rental property management company. It is important that consider several factors such as the price, whether you want to directly deal with the landlord or prefer an outside party, and how crucial is quick maintenance for you. By determining these factors, you will be able to choose the option that suits you best. If you own one or more rentals and want to make the ROI of your investment, then hiring RTI Properties for your rental property management needs will help you start making the most out of your investment property. Give us call with any inquiries or requests at (310) 532-9122.