Should You Rent From A Private Landlord Or Management Company

What's the difference?  

Are you trying to decide which one to choose…well choosing rental properties have grown all the more confusing nowadays.

Not only do you have so many types of properties to choose from, but you also have to choose if you prefer renting from a private landlord or a management company.

While you may be able to choose the property type based on your needs and budget, you can also choose between renting from a property owner or a company if you know the difference between the two.

Difference Between Renting From a Management Company vs Private Landlord

Private landlords own the property they rent out to their tenants.

They usually conduct searches for tenants through the papers and internet and once they find probable tenants, they screen them and ask for permission for a background check.

They then directly deal with the tenant they choose and are responsible for handling all their tenants’ grievances.

Property managers don’t usually own the rental properties...they just manage it.

They are middlemen between the renters and the company owning the rental properties.

It’s the property managers who attend to the tenant’s problems and not the property owner.

They are only responsible for implementing the rightful repairs while all payments are made by the property owners.

Private landlords are slower to take care of handling repairs or maintenance.

Landlords are slower to handle repairs.

Unfortunately private landlords are known for taking longer than expected for maintenance repairs. 

Most either handle the repairs themselves and only contract a vendor if they can't do it themselves.

If managing property is not their full time job then expect delays on repairs.

Property managers usually offer 24/7 maintenance-on-site.

Or at least emergency maintenance that attends to all issues, no matter how small or large it may be.

The problem is usually resolved whenever needed

Even in the middle of the night and some communities even let you submit online complaints.

However, there is the risk of the staff working here being unfriendly, and not attending to your problems when needed.

On the contrary, though you may not get any 24/7 or emergency services, private landlords will personally attend to your problem.

Property management companies always have staff ready

Most managed properties have an onsite office to visit whenever you have problems.

Like if you lock yourself out, a leak in the middle of the night and if you have some doubts to clear about the lease papers.

You may even have someone to call for help if you don’t have the time to stop by.

Managed companies offer minimal rental changes

Most managed companies minimize the changes they make per resident because of the huge paperwork that’ll be involved.

So while a landlord may increase the rent mid-year, it’s highly unlikely that property managers will do it because there’s too much work involved.

They will have to increase all their tenant’s rates, which isn’t worth the hassles.

They instead fix you at a specific rate for specific term and leave it at that.

Managed companies have annual rent hikes

However, there is a higher chance of managed properties declaring annual rent increases which get implemented, no matter how much you may try negotiating.

They usually hike rates when you have to renew their lease by 3-12%.

Managed companies offer extra amenities

Managed companies usually offer extra amenities like fitness centers and public spaces to their tenants, which private landlords cannot offer.

It’s, in fact, the amenities like fitness centers for working out and club room that attracts most tenants to managed communities.

And if the company is a large one... 

...they may even offer a perk of easily transferring between different properties managed by the same company if and when you have to leave.

However, at the same time, there’s no guarantee that these extra perks are actually worth it.

There’s the risk of the fitness center being smelly or dysfunctional and club rooms without any furniture.

Managed companies don’t support customization

One of the major drawbacks of renting from managed companies is that they loathe things their tenants do to their homes.

This includes common changes a homeowner may make to their property.

Such as painting walls, hanging pictures, mounting shelves, and other similar work.

So any changes you make like this has to be undone when you leave.

If you fail to do so, you risk getting billed for the changes, and the amount is deducted from your security deposit.

On the contrary, as long as you have the landlord’s approval, you can customize your rental space as needed.

Not only can you hang pictures and mount shelves, if you are lucky, but the landlord may also even be ready to share the cost of any upgrades you do.

Most important, unlike managed communities you usually don’t have to reverse any changes you make to the property upon leaving.

Private landlords offer more rental options

Managed properties usually offer rentals in apartment buildings and huge communities.

Private landlords, however, rent out all types of properties like houses with yards or garages or even an English basement.

So you have better private landlord rental options to choose from.

You can negotiate with private landlords


You will be dealing directly with the landlord in case of private properties, which means you can also negotiate rates before finalizing it.

More than likely you can negotiate about lots of things like reducing rent before moving in and avoiding any rental increases when the lease terminates.

In fact, you may strike a better rate and rental package from private landlords than property managers.

Negotiating with landlords

More negotiation power with private landlords.

Build relationships with landlords

As you approach the landlord with all your woes, you tend to develop a close relationship with them that leads to a better rental experience.

Your friendship acquaintance leads to their gaining more trust in you so that they work at keeping you happy so that they have a good and paying tenant around for a longer time.

This way they do not need to keep looking for a new tenant every few years.

Of course, all this about private landlords is applicable only if they are good and flexible.

But if you rent from a landlord who had contracted their property to a brokerage company, you can reap the benefits of dealing with both types of property owners.

In this case, while the brokerage company is in charge of collecting rent, maintenance and completing all paperwork, you deal directly with the property owner.

Which means you can negotiate terms and also develop a close relationship with them.

This about sums up the major differences between renting from a management company and a private landlord.

Though this is not an exhaustive list, you get to know the drawbacks and advantages of renting from either of them.

It’s then left to you to make the final choice of who you want to rent your property from.

You have to weigh the pros and cons of each of them.

Make sure you do your homework, ask questions to clear any doubts you may have and know all your rights and privileges before signing on the dotted line.