Landlord vs Property Manager: Who Should Be?

Landlord vs Property Manager has been in a quite debate on what and how do they work. In this comparison, we will discuss the differences between landlords and property managers, their responsibilities, and why it is important to understand the differences between the two.

A landlord is a property owner who is responsible for all maintenance and repairs of the rental property, including routine maintenance and repairs due to tenant damage. On the other hand, a property manager is someone who supervises and manages the property on behalf of the owner for a percentage of the gross rent collected or a flat fee. The property manager does not own the rental property but instead acts as a representative for the landlord.

Importance of Understanding Landlord vs Property Manager

It is important to understand the differences between landlords and property managers to make informed decisions as a property owner. If you are a landlord, you may choose to hire a property manager to handle the day-to-day operations of your rental property.

Alternatively, if you are a property manager, you need to understand your role and responsibilities in managing the property on behalf of the landlord. Understanding the differences between the two can help you make informed decisions and ensure that your rental property is managed effectively and efficiently.

Who is a Landlord?

A landlord is a property owner who leases their property to tenants who pay rent. Landlords can be individuals, businesses, or other entities. The primary responsibilities of a landlord include:

  • Managing tenants: Landlords are responsible for screening tenants, managing rental applications, and defining rental costs.
  • Warranty of habitability: Landlords must provide a “habitable” unit for a tenant, which means that the rental unit must be safe, clean, and in good condition.
  • Property maintenance: Landlords are responsible for maintaining the rental property to a standard that ensures tenants have a safe and clean living space. They must keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition, keep the common areas safe and sanitary, and comply with building, housing, health, and safety codes.
  • Abiding by housing laws: Landlords must comply with local, state, and federal housing laws.
  • Evictions: Landlords have the right to evict tenants who violate the lease agreement or fail to pay rent.

Landlord Legal Obligations and Rights

  • Repairing defects: Landlords are responsible for repairing any defects and hazards that may exist within a rental unit prior to a tenant’s move-in date. They must exercise “due diligence” and investigate and identify any harmful issues.
  • Tenant damage: Landlords are not responsible for repairing damages that were caused by the tenant or the tenant’s family, guests, or pets.
  • Electrical, plumbing, heating, and ventilation systems: Landlords must keep in good working order all electrical, plumbing, heating, and ventilation systems and fixtures.
  • Appliances and equipment: Landlords must maintain all appliances and equipment supplied or required by the landlord.
  • Water and heat: Landlords must provide running water and reasonable amounts of hot water and heat, unless the hot water and heat are supplied by an installation that is under the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility hook-up.
  • Garbage removal: Landlords must provide garbage cans and arrange for trash removal if the landlord owns four or more residential units in the same building.
  • Notice: Landlords must give tenants notice before entering the rental unit, and they must provide notice before making any changes to the lease agreement.

Understanding the responsibilities and legal obligations of a landlord is important for property owners to ensure that their rental property is managed effectively and efficiently.

Pros and Cons of Being a Landlord

Being a landlord has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are the pros and cons of being a landlord:


  • Full Control Over Property Decisions: As a landlord, you have full control over your rental property. You can decide who to rent to, how much to charge for rent, and when to make repairs or upgrades to the property.
  • Potential for Higher Profits: Owning a rental property can provide a steady source of income and build equity over time. If managed correctly, the money earned from rental income can cover the mortgage and operating expenses while allowing you to turn a monthly profit.
  • Property Appreciation: Rental properties can appreciate over time, allowing you to make more money when you sell the property.


  • Time-Consuming Responsibilities: Being a landlord requires a significant amount of time and effort. You must manage tenants, handle maintenance and repairs, and keep up with legal requirements and regulations.
  • Legal and Financial Risks: Landlords face legal and financial risks, such as tenant lawsuits, property damage, and non-payment of rent. These risks can be mitigated with proper insurance coverage and legal advice, but they still pose a potential threat.
  • Tenant Management Challenges: Managing tenants can be challenging, especially if you have difficult tenants who do not pay rent on time or cause damage to the property. You must also handle tenant complaints and disputes, which can be time-consuming and stressful.

Being a landlord has its advantages and disadvantages. It is important to carefully consider both before deciding to invest in rental properties. If you are willing to put in the time and effort required to manage a rental property, it can be a profitable investment. However, if you are not prepared for the responsibilities and risks that come with being a landlord, it may not be the right choice for you.

Who is a Property Manager?

A property manager is an individual or company hired to oversee the day-to-day operations of a unit of real estate. Property managers are responsible for managing routine tasks delegated to them by the owners and preserving the value of the properties they manage while generating income

Key Responsibilities of a Property Manager

Landlord vs Property Manager Who Should Be

The key responsibilities of a property manager include:

  • Tenant Management: Property managers are responsible for screening tenants, handling maintenance requests and repairs, resolving tenant concerns and complaints, advertising, showing and leasing vacant units, collecting and depositing rent, and communicating regularly with the property owner on the status of the property.
  • Property Maintenance: Property managers are responsible for supervising and coordinating building maintenance and work orders, doing light handyman and cleaning work, and ensuring that issues are being dealt with promptly and the property itself is cared for professionally.
  • Financial Management: Property managers are responsible for setting and collecting rent, handling financial transactions, and managing the budget for the property.
  • Legal Compliance: Property managers must understand landlord-tenant laws and regulations and ensure that the property is in compliance with local, state, and federal housing laws.
  • Marketing and Advertising: Property managers are responsible for advertising and marketing the property to attract potential tenants.

Licensing and Certifications

Every state has its own laws regulating the activities of property managers, but most states have no licensing or certification requirements for property managers.

However, some property managers choose to obtain certifications, such as the Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation offered by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM).

Property managers play a crucial role in managing rental properties on behalf of the owner. They are responsible for managing tenants, property maintenance, financial management, legal compliance, and marketing and advertising. While licensing and certification requirements vary by state, property managers can choose to obtain certifications to demonstrate their expertise and professionalism.

Pros and Cons of Being a Property Manager

Hiring a property manager has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the pros and cons of hiring a property manager:


  • Time-Saving: One of the biggest advantages of hiring a property manager is that it saves you time. Property managers handle all aspects of managing your rental property, including tenant management, property maintenance, and financial management.
  • Expertise in Property Management: Property managers have the expertise and experience to manage your rental property effectively. They understand landlord-tenant laws and regulations, have knowledge of the local rental market, and can provide professional advice on how to maximize your return on investment.
  • Tenant Screening and Management: Property managers handle tenant screening, lease agreements, rent collection, and tenant complaints and disputes. They also handle evictions if necessary.
  • Handling Maintenance and Repairs: Property managers are responsible for handling maintenance and repairs on your rental property. They have a network of contractors and vendors they work with to ensure that repairs are done quickly and efficiently.


  • Cost of Property Management Services: Hiring a property manager comes with fees, which can be a percentage of the monthly rent or a flat fee. This can eat into your profits and reduce your return on investment.
  • Less Control Over Property Decisions: When you hire a property manager, you give up some control over property decisions. Property managers make decisions on your behalf, such as tenant selection, rent pricing, and maintenance and repair decisions.
  • Finding a Reliable Property Manager: Finding a reliable property manager can be challenging. You need to do your research and find a property manager with a good reputation and track record. If you hire the wrong property manager, it can lead to poor management of your rental property and financial losses.

Hiring a property manager has its advantages and disadvantages. It can save you time, provide expertise in property management, handle tenant management and maintenance, and reduce your stress. However, it also comes with fees, less control over property decisions, and the challenge of finding a reliable property manager. It is important to carefully consider both the pros and cons before deciding whether to hire a property manager.

Landlord vs Property Manager: What’s the Relationship?

  • Landlords hire property managers to manage their rental properties on their behalf.
  • Property managers act as representatives for the landlord and do not own the rental property.
  • Landlords have ultimate control over property decisions, but property managers make day-to-day decisions on their behalf.

Landlords vs property manager have different roles and responsibilities in managing rental properties. While landlords own the property and are responsible for its maintenance and repairs, property managers are hired to manage the property on behalf of the landlord. Understanding the differences between the two is important for property owners to make informed decisions about managing their rental properties.


In conclusion, landlord vs property manager is a critical decision for property owners. Each path comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and the right choice depends on your individual circumstances, preferences, and resources.

Being a landlord provides the opportunity for full control over your property, the potential for higher profits, and the satisfaction of managing your investment firsthand. However, it also involves substantial time commitment, legal complexities, and the challenges of tenant management.

Ultimately, your decision on landlord vs property manager should be guided by factors like the type and size of your property, your availability and commitment, your knowledge of property management, financial considerations, and your risk tolerance. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons carefully and make an informed choice that aligns with your goals and objectives as a property owner.

If you’re considering hiring a property manager and want a reliable partner to take care of your property management needs, we encourage you to explore the services of Eagle Property Management. With a track record of excellence and a commitment to providing top-notch property management solutions, Eagle Property Management can help you maximize the returns on your investment while minimizing the hassles.

Take the next step towards stress-free property ownership and reach out to Eagle Property Management now. Your investment deserves nothing less than the best.

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