< Back

The Differences Between A Landlord And A Property Manager

If you’ve ever rented a property before, you’ve probably heard of either a landlord, property manager, or both. This is because they both play vital roles when it comes to rental properties. However, they are often mistaken as being the same when they are quite different. 

While every rental property will have a landlord, not every one will have a property manager. A landlord can do the jobs of both roles, but a property manager can’t always be a landlord as well. So, what other differences are there? Let’s examine property management vs. landlords and see what distinctions tell them apart.


Landlord vs. property manager: What’s the difference?


There are several differences between a landlord and property manager:


Role differences


There aren’t really any differences between the roles of a property manager and a landlord. All the roles are the landlord’s responsibilities until they hire a property manager and shift some of the work onto them. 

Here are the common roles for the two:


  • Finding and screening tenants
  • Handing out and signing lease agreements
  • Collecting weekly/monthly rent
  • Maintaining the property
  • Communicating with tenants


Rights differences


The biggest difference between landlords and property managers is the rights over the property. This is because a landlord will have full control and all rights regarding the property, making all important decisions regarding any changes in maintenance and rent. 

A property manager works for one or multiple landlords and has no significant power regarding the rental property. 


Property ownership differences


As we’ve already briefly mentioned, a landlord will own the rental property and therefore have complete power over every decision made regarding it. A property manager will only have any power if they are also the landlord. If not, they have absolutely no ownership over the rental property and will simply fulfill any duties.


Renting process differences


Lease terms


The landlord almost always puts together the terms of the lease. This is because they own the property and will receive most of the rent. However, a property manager can sometimes change the lease terms if the landlord has asked, but they will mostly be responsible for getting the paperwork signed. 




There is a very distinct difference between the costs of landlords and property managers. That is mainly because landlords don’t cost anything other than the rent they charge for the property. On the other hand, a property manager will charge the landlord for their services, which will vary depending on what they offer and where they are based. 


Maintenance and repairs


This will depend entirely on the agreement between the landlord and the property manager. The duties of each role will be worked out at the beginning of the property manager's contract. Sometimes they will be in charge of maintenance and repairs if that was what was agreed upon, or the landlord will handle this. 




This is the same as maintenance and repairs. The interactions with the tenants will depend on what has been agreed upon with the landlord and the property manager. However, most of the time, it will be the property manager’s responsibility to act as a middleman between the landlord and the tenant.



Landlord vs. property manager: Which one is better?


So, is it better to deal with a landlord or a property manager when renting a property? Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of both: 


Advantages and disadvantages of having a landlord




  • Lower rent


When you have a landlord without a property manager, you can expect the rent to be slightly lower each month. This is because a landlord doesn’t charge for their services. If a landlord hires a property manager, there’s a chance that they may charge more because they will be paying for their services.


  • Direct contact


If you have a landlord, you’ll communicate directly with them whenever you need help. If you need to discuss rental payments or maintenance, you will be able to clearly discuss what you want without there being any miscommunication. 




  • More tasks

A landlord working by themself will be challenged with a lot of tasks. This involves everything, such as potentially showing you the property, signing the contract, dealing with the rent, and handling all maintenance and repairs. Due to this, it may take longer for them to get around to each task, especially if they are a landlord of more than one property. 


Advantages and disadvantages of having a property manager




  • Faster communication


A landlord can sometimes have another day job as well as own property. A property manager has one job, and that is to manage properties. Due to this, you can expect quicker replies whenever you need help and seamless communication because they will always be on call to respond. 


  • Saves time


Similar to communication, everything else will be quicker. A property manager doesn’t have as many tasks as a landlord working by themself. Instead, the jobs are spread out between the two which means if you ever need help or a repair, you can rest assured knowing it will be handled as quickly as possible. 




  • Higher rent


This isn’t always the case, but if a landlord has to pay for a property manager, they may increase the price of your rent. 


  • Middleman


When you need to discuss important issues, such as the price of your rent or the terms of your tenancy agreement, you won’t be able to handle this straight away if you contact your property manager. They will act as a middleman and have to contact your landlord first before getting back to you. 


How to decide which is best for you


Every property you rent will have a landlord, but it’s up to you whether you want to rent a property with a designated manager. We’ve given you the differences to choose from, but the best way to choose is down to the software they use. 

For example, Hospiria makes the entire process easier whether you have one or the other. Before renting a property, ask if a landlord uses Hospiria’s property management software, and you won’t regret it.