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Landlord vs. Property Manager: Which to Rent From?

When you’re looking for a place to rent, it’s important to know the difference between a landlord and a property manager, as there are subtle differences and rules that apply to each. Here’s a breakdown of the subtle differences between the two, as well as what the renting experience looks like with each.

The Difference Between a Landlord and a Property Manager

The biggest difference between landlords and property managers is that landlords would typically be known as the owner of the property they’re renting out, while property managers are usually contracted by the owner to take care of day-to-day operations, communication, and maintenance. 

Another key difference is that landlords usually only have one or two properties that they’re responsible for, while property managers might have dozens (or even hundreds) of properties under their purview. That can make it easier to get help from a property manager if there’s an issue with your rental unit since they likely have staff on hand who can deal with the problem quickly. 

The Difference in Responsibilities 

The biggest difference between landlords and property managers is the amount of responsibility they have. Landlords have a lot more financial responsibility because they’re ultimately responsible for paying the mortgage and all the expenses of the property. 

Property managers have much less financial responsibility but are equally as responsible if contracted to handle repairs and maintenance, marketing the property, screening tenants, and collecting rent, along with all the other day-to-day tasks associated with running a rental property.  

What the Renting Experience Looks Like 

The renting experience will vary depending on whether you’re dealing with a landlord or property manager. For example, if you’re working with a landlord, they might live in the same building as you do or in the unit next door. That proximity can be helpful if there’s an issue with your rental unit that needs to be fixed ASAP, but it can also be intrusive if your landlord is constantly stopping by without notice. 

On the other hand, property managers may have a resident manager who lives on-site.  They also usually employ a team and have strong relationships with contractors.  That means if there’s an issue with your rental unit, you might have to wait a little bit while work is coordinated or approved by the property owner, but you ultimately can rely on their ability to get the work done. 

The Relationship Between a Landlord and a Property Manager

In most cases, landlords hire property managers to take care of their rentals for them. 

Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule—some landlords prefer to manage their own properties, while some property managers work for themselves instead of being employed by a landlord. But in general, these are the roles that landlords and property managers play in relation to each other. 

So, Who Should You Rent From?

There’s no easy answer when it comes to deciding whether you should rent from a landlord or property manager. It really depends on your own personal preferences and what you’re looking for in a rental situation. 

If you care more about having someone on-call 24/7 to deal with any issues that might arise, then going through a property manager might be the way to go. 

Let Us Help You Find the Right Rental!

When it comes time to look for a new place to rent, there are many factors to consider.

Still not sure which option is right for you? Contact Emerald Management & Realty today at 403-237-8600, or fill out our online contact form and we’ll help you find the perfect rental unit in Calgary & Area!

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