Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Landlord and Property Manager

Property management can be tasking, especially when many properties are involved. This has led to the delegation of roles from the owner to other parties. Both parties, however, have various roles such as setting the rent prices, screening potential tenants, preparing and facilitating the signing of lease agreements, collecting rent, maintaining the properties, solving tenant complaints and disputes, returning of any deposits, not to mention preparing and submitting property turnover to the relevant authorities. Due to the high magnitude of the tasks, landlords may involve property managers in maintaining properties. The knowledge on the difference between the two is essential to the landlords, property managers as well as the tenants.


So who is a Landlord?

A landlord is basically a property owner. In a scenario whereby a landlord manages his/ her properties, roles such as advertising for any opens spaces, screening tenants, setting and collecting rent, repairs and property maintenance, solving tenant complaints and disputes and refunding security deposits, just to name a few, are carried out by the landlord. Property commonly managed by landlords include single-family homes and small multi-families.

Managing property as a landlord has advantages including;

  • Fewer costs are involved as compared to hiring property managers
  • Direct contact with tenants enhances a great landlord-tenant relationship
  • Quick responses to tenant complaints

Managing property as a landlord has disadvantages including

  • It is time-consuming
  • In instances where many properties are involved, quality of tenant services may be poor


So then Who is a Property Manager?

These are persons who manage properties on behalf of the owners. Various types of properties managed include large-multi-family properties, commercial properties, and properties with absentee landlords.  They can also be tasked to manage single and multi-family homes.

Property managers carry out all the duties involved in property management on behalf of the landlords.

Advantages of using property managers in management include;

  • Delegation of tenant issues to property managers frees the landlords time
  • Large properties are easily managed
  • Short vacancy cycles
  • Better and streamlined processes

Disadvantages of using property managers in management include;

  • It is an added cost to the landlord
  • Handing over of property management may strip the landlord the decision making role


Similarities between Landlord and Property Manager

  • Both are involved in property management
  • Both have similar roles including advertising for any opens spaces, screening tenants, setting and collecting rent, repairs and property maintenance, solving tenant complaints and disputes and refunding security deposits.


Differences between Landlord and Property Manager


A landlord is a property owner. On the other hand, a property manager is a person who manages properties on behalf of the owners.

Costs involved

While dealing with a landlord, rent and other costs involved are cheaper. However, when dealing with a property manager, rent may be more expensive as well as added costs such as lease signing fee. 

Types of properties

Landlords manage single-family homes and small multi-families. On the other hand, property managers manage large-multi-family properties, commercial properties, and properties with absentee landlords.

Lease agreements

While landlords use general and personalized lease agreements, property managers use general lease agreements for properties managed.

Landlord vs. Property Manager: Comparison Table


Summary of Landlord vs. Property Manager

While both landlords and property managers carry out similar roles, the main difference is property ownership, whereby a landlord is the property owner while a property manager manages a property on behalf of the owner. The decision on whether to manage properties alone or involving a third party should be taken after full consideration of the pros and cons.


Tabitha Njogu

Tabitha graduated from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology with a Bachelor???s Degree in Commerce, whereby she specialized in Finance. She has had the pleasure of working with various organizations and garnered expertise in business management, business administration, accounting, finance operations, and digital marketing.

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References :

[0]Image credit: http://www.thebluediamondgallery.com/wooden-tile/l/landlord.html

[1]Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/aklehmann/15479329728

[2]Yoegel John. Perfect Phrases for Landlords and Property Managers. McGraw Hill Professional Publishers, 2008. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=buCc0Wos5HIC&pg=PA5&dq=Difference+between+landlord+and+property+manager&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiRzN6zqZDiAhWwzYUKHYDEA-EQ6AEIPjAE#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20landlord%20and%20property%20manager&f=false

[3]Burrell Jamaine. The Rental Property Manager's Toolbox: A Complete Guide Including Pre-written Forms, Agreements, Letters, and Legal Notices : with Companion CD-ROM. Atlantic Publishing Company, 2006. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=cXYLSZKZt2sC&pg=PA76&dq=landlord+vs.+property+managers&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiR-ejwuJDiAhUrzYUKHUJnAmI4ChDoAQgzMAM#v=onepage&q=landlord%20vs.%20property%20managers&f=false

[4]Griswold Robert. Property Management Kit For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons Publishers, 2013. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=y9HUN-zd_nIC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Difference+between+landlord+and+property+manager&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiRzN6zqZDiAhWwzYUKHYDEA-EQ6AEIMjAC#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20landlord%20and%20property%20manager&f=false

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