If you’ve ever rented an apartment or house before, there’s a good chance you did it through a landlord or property management company. On the surface, they might not seem that different. They’re just two types of people who collect rent money from you at the end of the month, right?

While it’s true that a landlord and property manager both cash your rent money, their rental processes can vary greatly. As a tenant, you’ll have to choose between a rental that comes directly from a landlord or a third-party property management company. This critical decision can actually change the entire rental process.

But which one is better? As a tenant, you want to make the right choice. The good news is that there are pros and cons to both. Whether you choose to find a rental through a landlord or property manager, certain things will work in your favour and others won’t. To make it easy, we’re here to break down some of the crucial differences between renting from a property manager vs. landlord.


Renting from a Landlord


Renting from a landlord basically translates into renting from an owner. The rental you inhabit is managed directly by the person who owns the property. As you’d imagine, there are good and bad things about this type of arrangement — so let’s get into it.

One of the best things about renting from a landlord is the ability to cultivate a strong landlord-tenant relationship. If you and your landlord get along really well, they’ll probably be more willing to help you out when things go awry. There’s more leeway to talk through issues like missing rent by a few days or explaining a scratch or dent. Having that solid rapport in place can help you in sticky rental situations.

Since a landlord also sets their own lease, rent, and security deposit amounts, a good relationship can also help in that regard. Let’s say they’ve been pleased with how you’ve treated their property after a year, but you’re struggling to afford it. They have the power to give you a discounted rate should they choose. While this is rare, it can happen. It really depends on what is most important to your landlord and how much money they need each month to cover their own property expenses.

Renting from a landlord can also be risky. You don’t know much about the landlord’s past or who they are. If they’ve also decided they don’t like you, for example, they may try to pin property damage on you as well. Their personal biases will always come into play no matter what your rental situation actually looks like.


Renting from a Property Manager


A property manager (usually working on behalf of a property management company) serves as a middleman between you and the landlord. They typically work with several different landlords who own rental properties. All of the paperwork and potential issues associated with the rental you’re inhabiting runs through them.

The great thing about renting from a property manager is reliability. This is their job. Even though they probably have other rentals to take care of — they are there for you. If your landlord is out of the country for a while for some reason, they can’t really help you out. A property manager will always ensure there is help when you need it, whether it’s through them or their company.

Unlike a landlord, a property manager will also have less bias towards tenants. Since they approach properties as work, not passion projects, they won’t be as emotionally connected to the space. This is good for tenants as they likely won’t have a microscope held up to every little issue that may come up. While they’re still there to make sure the property is the shape the owner wants, their judgement won’t be clouded with anger. They’ll want to figure out a solution.

The last thing that is beneficial about renting from a property manager is experience. They’ve probably dealt with issues in scenarios similar to yours. If this is a landlord’s first time ever dealing with a tenant, managing their emotions is going to be difficult. Even if they try to understand an issue, they won’t approach it the same way as a seasoned property manager would.

Pemberton Holmes Property Management has been around for over 130 years, and we’ve seen it all. We always have both the tenant and landlord’s best interests in mind. Visit our site to find out how we can help find your next great rental opportunity.