What Are Landlords vs. Property Managers Responsible For?

Landlord-vs-Property-Manager

Why do you need a property manager when you’re doing a great job managing your rental properties all by yourself? While you might be doing perfectly well on your own, working with a property management firm may actually help you make more money – and save you stress – in the long run with minimal work.

How can this be possible when you have to pay them a percentage of the gross collected rent or a flat fee for managing your rental properties? To better understand how hiring a property manager works in your favor, let’s take a closer look at what a landlord vs. property manager is responsible for.

Landlord vs. Property Manager: What’s the Difference?

Roles

Generally, a landlord is a property owner who plays a more hands-on role in the day-to-day operations of the rental property, whereas a property manager is someone who supervises and manages the property on behalf of the owner for a percentage of the gross rent collected or a flat fee.

Types of Property Managed

A typical landlord can manage up to six single-family homes without any outside help, while property managers usually handle larger multi-family buildings, commercial properties, or a combination of both.

Responsibilities

Property-Manager-Responsibilities

Landlords and property managers often perform similar functions, which may include the following:

  • Preparation and enforcement of lease agreements
  • Setting the rental price
  • Screening prospective renters
  • Rent collection
  • Property maintenance and repairs
  • Handling tenant complaints and disputes

However, property managers may do things better and more effectively, thanks to experience, training, and access to resources individual landlords might not have.

For one, they can help you find better tenants. Well-established property management firms have extensive marketing and advertising programs and a bigger pool of potential renters. This increases the chance that you’ll find qualified tenants in less time. They also have effective screening policies in place to weed out bad tenants.

Property managers are also familiar with existing local, state, and federal landlord-tenant laws so you don’t have to worry about facing legal charges because you mishandled something you weren’t aware of (e.g., discrimination charges in screening and selecting tenants, inaccuracy of lease document, tenant’s right to privacy, etc.). They will also take the often messy and costly eviction process out of your hands, in the unfortunate event you need to go through with one. 

More importantly, they can help you make more money without you doing the heavy lifting. It may be true that having a property manager will cost you some money, but they’ll help you find better tenants that will pay their rents on time, stay longer, and take good care of your property. This means you don’t have to worry about your monthly cash flow, lost rent, cost of tenant turnover, or repairs.   

Most property owners don’t realize that getting the unit rent-ready and finding qualified tenants can be pretty expensive. Even beyond the lost rent during the vacancy, tenant turnover can cost you up to three months’ rent! Thankfully, you can avoid all these by getting the right tenants.

Point of Contact

When you are managing your rental yourself, you will be responsible for directly handling tenant requests, complaints, and disputes. While this allows you to touch base with everything that’s going on with your property, this can inevitably eat up a lot of your time and energy.

On the other hand, you wouldn’t find yourself in the same situation if you had a property manager working for you. When the manager takes your place as the primary point of contact, you can keep a professional distance from your tenants while keeping them comfortably happy in your rental property. Needless to say, this will take a huge load off your shoulders.

Lease Agreements

Landlords usually use a general lease agreement obtained from a lawyer or other outside source but they may include specific rent collection guidelines, pet policies, and other terms and conditions while property management firms use a general lease agreement for all their managed properties.

As mentioned earlier, property managers know all the applicable state and federal laws, so they surely wouldn’t miss including all the pertinent facts about the rental, landlord policies, and disclosures in the lease agreement. Keep in mind that you can face serious charges for not following applicable laws, so having a team of experts can be a definite advantage.

Maintenance and Repairs

Regular maintenance work and attending to your tenants’ repair requests can be time-consuming. If you’re the DIY type of landlord, you’ll have to find time to address these needs. Otherwise, you’ll need to find a qualified technician or specialist to do the job. Neither of these tasks is as simple as it seems.

Working with a property manager frees you from this responsibility since they have already established a more streamlined approach in dealing with maintenance and repair requests and likely have a network of qualified professionals who can do the job efficiently.

Accounting and Bookkeeping

Landlords are responsible for keeping a book of accounts for tax purposes, but you may need to outsource the job to an expert if this is not your strong suit. Thankfully, this boring yet essential task is included in the services offered by most property managers, so you don’t have to agonize over keeping your transaction records ever again.

Does Hiring a Property Manager Make Sense?

Hiring-a-Property-Manager

After a brief review of what landlords are responsible for and counting the ways by which a property manager can help you run your business more effectively, it’s easy to see how hiring one can make your job easier. While you may find satisfaction in what you’re doing, working with a team of professionals can actually be good for your business.

Don’t you dream about enjoying time and financial freedom? Well, that’s exactly what you’ll get by teaming up with a credible and highly committed property manager like Tenant Planet.

At Tenant Planet, we can help you run the business smoothly and protect you from all the pains, worries, and difficulties that come with it. Interested in what we have to offer? We’d love to connect with you and bring effective solutions to further improve the way you handle your business so please feel free to Request a Proposal. Or if you just have questions or comments, email me at parker@tenantplanet.com.

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