Dealing With a Property Management Company vs. a Landlord

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A landlord may utilize a property management company for a large property or when several of their properties require management services. From your landlord’s perspective, there are advantages to using a management company. Even though a landlord is a property owner, they may not know how to manage a property. Properly maintaining a property, and dealing with tenants, requires a lot of knowledge. Your landlord may have neither the time nor the inclination to learn everything necessary. So, hiring a professional makes it easier to engage in the business of being a landlord.

What Does a Property Management Company Do?

Property management companies manage different types of real estate, including rental properties. When offering rental property management services, a management company does everything your landlord would do to manage your apartment building.

When renting an apartment at a property run by a management company, you will meet one of their employees as soon as you visit the property to view an apartment. If you decide to rent the apartment, a management company employee will take you through the rental process, just as a landlord would. This can include negotiating your lease and signing it on behalf of the landlord.

Aside from screening tenants and renting apartments, management companies are responsible for a number of other things. They take care of the property’s day-to-day maintenance. When you need maintenance in your apartment, you will contact them, and they will arrange to have the problem taken care of.  Any problems during your tenancy, such as apartment rule violations, will be reported to them. In addition, your monthly rent check will be sent to them for processing.

Management Companies and Landlord Rights

One of a management company’s responsibilities is to protect your landlord’s rights. Both landlords and tenants have rights based on a Residential Landlord-Tenant Act, which makes residential landlord and tenant laws more fair to all parties. It does this by defining exactly what rights and responsibilities you and your landlord have. Depending on which state you reside in, the laws will vary. The management company will assert your landlord’s rights in everything from enforcing the terms of your lease, ensuring your compliance with state building and health codes, and even starting eviction proceedings against you.

How a Management Company Differs From a Landlord

There are differences in dealing with a management company versus a landlord. For example, as a professional service company, a management company often uses more stringent standards for screening tenants. While landlords are sometimes lax about selecting tenants, management companies adhere to strict guidelines. They do this because they do not want to cause any losses for your landlord by renting to a bad tenant, who must be evicted.

A management company is also more formal in their interactions with tenants, since the relationship is that of a company to an individual. If you’re used to dealing directly with your landlord, you may find working with a management company somewhat impersonal. On the other hand, management companies offer professional management services which will make the building you live in run more smoothly.

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Lisa Bernstein: As a long-time apartment dweller and seasoned condominium trustee, I have dealt with numerous landlord-tenant, property management, and day-to-day apartment complex issues. My extensive, direct experience has led to invaluable insights into apartment life from both the tenant and management perspectives.

6 Responses to “Dealing With a Property Management Company vs. a Landlord”

  1. August 26, 2009 at 5:49 am, Rachel said:

    What happens when a management company rents to a bad tenant and doesn’t manage it properly?

    Reply

  2. October 13, 2009 at 7:14 pm, Mark said:

    management company nightmare, I hired this company a year and a half ago to manage my out of state property; shortly after I purchased the 8 unit bldg. I fired them for not maintaining the property; lying about work that was never done, invoicing me every month for. Leased one of my units in July stating “Rent will be paid out of citimark’s payroll”. Tenant is paying no rent and CitiMark has kept all rents from October. What are my rights in this situation and how can I cancel this lease agreement that citiMark made with this tenent? Tenant claims to be CitiMark’s head of secuity and has a lawyer whom is trying to hold me responsible for citiMark and tie me up in court for years.

    Reply

  3. November 28, 2009 at 1:55 pm, Sandra said:

    There are 24 APT’S in my block.Only 11 have paid full maintance,2 have paid half and 11 have paid nothing.We all recieved the bill Aug09.Is there anything the maintance company could be doing to get everybody else to pay as the 11 that have paid in full are suffering as there is work that needs to be done around the place.Hope you will be able to help or let me know who can help as i’m sure the maintance company can be doing something.

    Reply

  4. June 19, 2012 at 7:53 am, Orlando Rental Management said:

    Reading comments like these is upsetting. Property management companies are supposed to make life easier for the landlord and smoother for the tenant. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Choosing the right property management company is extremely important to ensure your property and potential tenants are handled properly.

    Reply

  5. March 02, 2013 at 1:31 am, Eva said:

    i know for sure if i would treat my clients as my apartment management company treats me…i would lose my bussines long time ago. Never hire Sianaam management in Florida…..nightmare

    Reply

  6. November 30, 2013 at 3:26 am, Newlyn said:

    I agree, in some respect, having a property management company manage your rentals will definitely be easier for the landlord, but it distances you away from your tenants. I love my tenants and I love interacting with them. It fosters a healthy relationship and you know that with this type of relationship, you’ll more often than not have someone who will be paying rent on time.

    Reply

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