Over the decades, property management has revolutionized. In the past, especially in horticultural societies, landlords would directly engage with their tenants and settle matters mostly by verbal agreements.
However, in a bureaucratic, democratic society, these informal arrangements don’t have any value. Instead of a direct dealership, it can be much more beneficial to have someone who manages your property for you. Someone who knows property laws by rote, someone who’s skilled at documenting everything about the property, and above all, someone who can mediate in case of any trouble between the tenant or the landlord.
That someone is a property manager, like Suncoast Leasing & Management in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.
What’s the Difference?
Here’s everything you need to know about the differences between a property manager and a landlord to help you decide which is right for you:
What’s a Landlord?
A landlord, often called real estate investors, is someone who has the actual ownership of the property. They are the property owner(s) and have their name on the legal documents. They have the higher hand when it comes to important decision-making regarding the property they own.
A landlord is usually someone who searches for and invests in properties for different causes. These can be residential, official, commercial, educational, public service properties, as well as properties for charity. Someone can have many reasons for purchasing an investment property. The top reasons include having a passive rental income, owning a rental property for long term strategy or for portfolio management. Providing a residence to tenants, who in turn pay a certain monthly rent, benefits both the landlord and those renting.
In a way, we can say that landlords are investors not just property buyers and sellers. More often than not, landlords do not live in their own property (unless it’s a duplex or has multiple units within it). Instead, they look for tenants – families, businesses, clinics, schools, and small public service entities to live in their property.
Since the nature of a landlord’s business is an investment (especially when they own more than one or two properties), a landlord sometimes doesn’t have enough time to deal with individual property matters. This is where the property manager comes in.
What’s a Property Manager?
A property manager or a property management company, like Suncoast Leasing & Management, is an independent third-party entity that the landlord hires to manage property matters on their behalf. They are expected to understand the landlord’s business and investment goals.
Their role is to look for new properties, maintain properties, sell properties that aren’t profitable, screen prospective tenants, present a lease agreement, hold the security deposit, set rents, collect rents, manage taxes, complete maintenance requests, and do anything and everything that a landlord cannot do on their own. Property managers do not own any of the property. They might sign contracts with their landlord clients, but they’re not usually a part of the property’s official documents.
They can advise the landlord in making a decision regarding properties, such as setting rent conditions, maintenance routines, tenant relationships, etc. However, they cannot decide anything independently or without a green signal from the landlord.
Responsibilities of a Landowner or Landlord
In a partnership with the property manager, a landlord is responsible for the following:
Payments and Funds
A landlord has the primary responsibility of planning funds to meet the cost of new properties. This involves the development of an investor-based mindset on behalf of the landlord. This includes the very initial costs of purchasing some basic property by investing their assets in this business.
Then, they can use the rent income from the current property to purchase more property, upgrade the current property, maintain the property, pay the property manager, and invest further in other projects. In short, the landlord supervises all monetary gives and takes.
Explain their Investment Plans
As a landlord, there are multiple types of properties to consider investing in. Investments in property are a serious business, and any irresponsible action or miscommunication of any sort with the property manager can lead to a huge loss for the landlord as well as the tenant.
This is why it’s important that the landlord takes the property manager into complete confidence regarding their plans, preferences, finances, legal matters, and so on.
Checking Up With Tenants and Property Managers
In a third-party arrangement, landlords do not directly engage with tenants. Their interaction with the property manager is also pretty restricted most of the time. However, their decisions and choices majorly impact the living standard and facilities that their tenants receive. Their miscalculation can also cost a lot of trouble to property managers.
Therefore, even the busiest landlords should try to loop everyone in every once in a while. They may review satisfaction reports, hear complaints and suggestions from the tenants and managers, and ensure that their property empire doesn’t fall into any legal pits due to their negligence.
Responsibilities of a Property Manager
The general responsibilities of a property manager include:
Keeping a Record of Tenants
Property managers are at the forefront of tenant searching and screening. They are responsible for publishing ads to announce that the property is up for rent. They meet tenants, show them the place, profile the various interested parties, complete background and credit checks, and assist the tenants in settling into the property.
In addition, they’re responsible for ensuring that the tenants they rent the place to aren’t troublesome in any way. They shouldn’t carry out any illegal activities on the property. They shouldn’t annoy other tenants and shouldn’t mess with the property itself. In short, a property manager should be as careful as possible when dealing with tenants to increase chances of success and decrease vacancy rates.
While the landlord is the one who has the ultimate control over the finances, the role of a property manager isn’t any less important in these arrangements. A property manager is responsible for advising a suitable rent amount as well as for collecting rent from the tenants.
The property manager also keeps an eye on the total estimated cost of all the properties. They also have the responsibility to keep an eye out for potential investment and savings opportunities, as well as all potential buyers and sellers. Moreover, property managers handle taxation and maintenance finances of the properties too.
The primary role of a property manager is to look after the property in the absence of the landlord. The property can be decades old or brand new, commercial or residential, occupied or vacant. Regardless, a property manager should keep an eye on any maintenance needs that may pop up in any property.
Dive Into the Legalities
As a property manager, one should always be one step ahead when it comes to legal matters. The landlord client may or may not be skilled at handling documents or responding to court summons, so a property manager is the one who has to look into all such matters. These include leases, contractual documents, court orders, tenant notices, and so on. Property managers can also represent their clients in court.
What Kinds of Properties Can a Property Management Company Help Manage?
A property management company can help in managing already functional properties such as housing societies, as well as properties that are under development, such as a commercial plot or a hospital. Some companies try to do it all. Others will focus on one property type and become experts in it. Suncoast Leasing & Management specializes in residential properties, especially those that are a part of a community. We manage single and multiple units in the same building and offer our clients and tenants the outstanding service.
When to Hire a Property Manager
You should consider hiring a property management company if you feel like you could use some help and guidance when it comes to your ever-growing portfolio. However, there are a few things to know before hiring a property manager, and one of them is that you should know exactly what your property means to you. Here’s when you might consider hiring someone to oversee one or more rental property:
- When you’re dealing with multiple small families as your tenants
- When you have large families as tenants on your property
- When you’re afraid, you may mess up the complicated legal and financial matters associated with your property
- When you don’t have enough time to deal with your property hands-on
- When you don’t live near your property, or your property is overseas or across the states
- When you’re dealing with properties of different kinds
- When you’re trying to develop a property, instead of simply renting it out
The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Property Manager
- Efficient and timely management help
- Timely reports and insights
- Expert advises on property matters
- Help in legal matters
- Helpful in making the property profitable
- Can be quite costly
- Increased chances of fraud and embezzlement
- Extralegal pressure
Should You Rent from a Landlord or a Property Manager?
Renting directly from an individual may seem more reassuring because you’re directly engaging with the owner. However, renting from a property management company can be more beneficial, especially if you’re looking to negotiate terms and want an objective mind to deal with you as a tenant.
Hiring an experienced property manager, like Suncoast Leasing & Managmenet, ensures maximum efficiency and safety on behalf of both the landlord and the tenant. Our professional property management company will bring out the best potential of your property! Call us today at 941-993-2020 or contact us here.