Renters have a lot of options, and there are about a million ways you could categorize all the potential homes you could be renting. But at the end of the day, they all fall into one of two categories: those that are managed by a private landlord, and those that are managed by a professional property manager.
There are pros and cons of both. If you’re on the hunt for the next place to call home, it’s worth considering who you’re renting from, and what resources they bring to the table.
Should I Rent from A Private Landlord or Property Manager?
Point of Contact
As a renter, one of the biggest differences between renting from an independent landlord and a property manager is your point of contact—in other words, who you will be dealing with on a daily basis. If you are renting directly from the property owner, then you will pay rent and put in maintenance requests directly to that person.
But if your landlord has hired a property manager, it’s the manager you will be dealing with. This has advantages in that property managers tend to be more professional and timelier; but some renters prefer the personal touch of interacting directly with the property owner.
Types of Property
Most smaller rentals such as single-family homes and duplex properties tend to be managed by the landlord who owns them. Larger properties, such as apartment buildings with six or more units, are more often overseen by a professional property manager. There are exceptions, of course, but it’s worth considering what type of property you want to live in, and who will likely be running it.
Renting from a property manager often means you will be signing a more professional lease agreement, and that this lease agreement will be in complete compliance with all landlord/tenant laws. You can also be assured that both you and the property manager will be held accountable for upholding your end of the lease.
A lot of independent landlords also have well-written, fair and legally binding lease agreements, though some may play things a little faster and looser, offering “month-to-month” deals. To some renters this may be appealing, but the arrangement also lacks security.
One potential benefit of renting from a landlord is that landlords who ask you to sign a lease will have written a customized lease for that specific property. Many property managers use similar “boilerplate” lease agreements for all the properties they manage.
Maintenance and Repairs
Landlords have to wear many hats, and those who both own and operate their own rental property tend to become overworked, especially when it comes to maintenance. When you put in a maintenance request, your landlord will have to either make the repair himself, or find a company to hire to make the repair. Either way, you might end up waiting a while.
One of the biggest advantages that a property manager brings to the table is the ability to handle maintenance quickly and efficiently. A good property manager will have all the outside vendors needed for any maintenance or repair task already lined up.
On one hand, you may pay a little more if you are renting a property that is managed by a professional property manager because the owner will have to factor in the cost of hiring a property management company. On the other hand, property managers likely perform a rent price analysis, which means they know the fair market value of rent for similar units in each market they serve. Some may also offer a better deal if you sign a full year lease.
Ready to learn more about finding your next rental? Contact us today for more information on all the advantages of renting from a professional property manager. Son-Rise Property Management has been serving the property management needs of Bellingham and Whatcom County since 1996.