Larry Costa REALTOR®'s Blog
When inquiring about renting a home or condominium, you may not immediately be aware if the property is being self-managed by the owner or by a property manager or management firm that the owner has hired. There are some benefits and downsides to each. You should first ask who and how the property is being managed. This just could give you an indication of what to expect in your relationship.
Benefits of an Owner Landlord
One of the benefits of renting from a landlord who owns the property is that they have a direct vested interest in maintaining the house. This could mean that they may be more responsive and make repairs properly. Property owner landlords do not like replacing tenants and filling vacancies, so they will often treat their good tenants very well.
Negatives of an Owner Landlord
Often, the biggest downside of an owner landlord is they have too close of a personal connection with a property. They may have even done much of any remodeling or repair work themselves. They can take it personally if there is damage or a repair that needs addressing. This makes them more prone to inspecting the property more frequently. They also are more personally affected if a tenant is late with making a rent payment. They may not have the resources or be willing to spend the money, to keep a property properly maintained.
Benefits of a Property Manager
A professional property manager works as a liaison between the tenant and the owner. This keeps the owner at arm's length, making the relationship more professional and less personal. A property manager has their own reputation to maintain and should try to keep both the tenant and owner happy. A property manager often solely works on managing properties and can spend more time making sure a property is maintained.
Negatives of a Property Manager
Some would argue that the negative to working with a property manager is that they are a paid third-party with no “skin in the game” so to speak. Many property managers also manage their own properties and may manage so many properties they may not have enough time to pay sufficient attention to yours. So property managers are largely impersonal companies and may not offer the personal touch you desire.
Due Diligence Is Key
To key between selecting a professional property manager or an owner tenant usually lies in performing your due diligence before signing a lease. Ask for reference and see our reviews. Any landlord or property manager will ask for references from you. Do not be afraid to perform your own due diligence before making a decision on renting from them.