Landlord vs Property Manager: The Major Differences

landlord vs property manager - the differences

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If you’re a landlord or property manager, you probably know the ins and outs of being in either role. From what each does to how they interact with tenants, these professions have many similarities as well as several ways in which their responsibilities differ. We cover those in this article.

Table of Contents

What is a Landlord?

A landlord is a property owner who leases or rents out units, homes, offices or other types of properties to private people or businesses. The landlord can be a non-profit housing provider, shareholder of an apartment complex, or an individual who owns a single-family home. Landlords are legally responsible for the condition of their properties and any problems that arise as part of the rent agreement.

What is a Property Manager?

A property manager is a person or company who manages the operations of a facility for tenants, generally for a building owner. Property managers may be independent contractors or employees of property owners and/or management companies.

A professional property manager can save a landlord money by ensuring that costly repairs are completed in a timely manner, bills are paid on time, tenants are satisfied with their rentals etc.

The Difference Between Landlords and Property Managers

Landlords and property managers are both responsible for managing residential rentals. However, there are differences between their roles. A landlord is an individual who owns a property and rents it out to tenants, while a property manager is employed by the landlord to oversee day-to-day operations.

Rights of a Landlord vs a Property Manager

Landlords and property managers differ in that landlords have full authority over their rental properties, while property managers have less rights. Landlords can make decisions themselves regarding repairs, leasing, and other requirements themselves, whereas property managers normally need to get approval from the landlord.

Responsibilities of a Landlord vs a Property Manager

Landlords and property managers have similar jobs and often their responsibilities overlap. Both analyze the potential financial viability of potential renters, collect rent and perform maintenance and repairs but property managers might be more professional at these roles due to experience, training and access to resources individual landlords might not have. Landlords on the other hand, have a legal obligations which comes with owning properties that property managers are not subjected too. They are responsible for the property’s safety, maintenance, repairs and property taxes.

Cost of a Landlord vs a Property Manager

Landlords and property managers have different costs associated with the management of a property. Landlords incur the expenses of managing the property themselves, while property managers are paid a percentage of each month’s rent or a retainer for their services.

As a landlord, you are responsible for paying for all maintenance and repairs as well as cleaning services and utilities. Property managers will take care of all these expenses on your behalf so that you don’t have to worry about them. In fact, some landlords prefer having their properties managed by professional property managers because they can be assured that everything is in good working order at all times—which also means fewer problems down the road!

Property Ownership of a Landlord vs a Property Manager

  • Landlords own the property.
  • Property managers do not own the property.
  • Landlords are responsible for maintenance and repairs, while they’re renting out the property to tenants.
  • Property managers are responsible for maintenance and repairs, but they cannot rent out the properties on their own—they have to work through a third party such as an agent or rental company to do so, if the landlord asks them to take care of the renting process for him.

Professional Relationships Of a Landlord vs a Property Manager

Landlords and property managers have different professional relationships. Whereas a landlord may be the owner of several properties, they only manage  one or two buildings. A property manager who runs multiple properties will have more interactions with tenants than a landlord does. Both landlords and property managers need to have good relationships with their tenant community in order for things like construction projects or repairs to go smoothly.

The Pros and Cons of Being a Landlord


Being a landlord gives anyone the opportunity to expand their personal finances. If you’re able to collect more than you owe on your property each month, then you’ll be making money. Furthermore, if you rent your property for multiple years there are a few opportunities for long-term profit. Aside from the monthly income you’ll collect each month, the value of your property will likely increase over time which means that if you decide to sell it after renting it for a number of years, you’ll likely receive more money for it than if you try to sell it now.


As a landlord, it can be challenging to meet all of your responsibilities. You need to make sure the home is up-to-code, take care of any problems that arise, and maintain a good relationship with your tenants. On top of that, you have to maintain the property and fix damages caused by tenants.

The Pros and Cons of Working With a Property Manager


Having a property manager manage your rental property can free up a lot of your time, allowing you to focus on other priorities. In addition to this benefit, they also respond quickly, ensuring that your tenants are happy with their living environment. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your property is well-managed and their professional reputation is on the line if they fail to do their job properly.


Property Managers aren’t cheap and you may not be willing to pay for that service. Hiring a property manager means handing over the day-to-day processes associated with your rental property to someone else. For some, this can be a win-win situation. However, for others it could lead to headaches and unexpected fees for landlords.

Final Words

Whether you are a landlord managing your own property, or a professional property management company, it is helpful to understand the difference between the two. No matter which side of the fence you’re on,  Picksapce’s state of the art property management software can simplify your life and help to increase tenant satisfaction and revenue.

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