Landlord vs. Property Manager: Understanding the Key Differences

landlord vs property manager

As a property owner, the most important decision you’ll make is managing your rental property yourself or hiring a property management company. To make the right choice, it’s crucial to understand the differences between a landlord and a property manager. 

When a professional property management company assigns a property manager, you can have peace of mind knowing that your property is managed by experts who can handle any issues. Let us help you make the best decision for your property investment.

Who is a Landlord?

A landlord owns a rental property and leases it out to tenants. As a landlord, you are responsible for finding and screening tenants, setting rental rates, collecting rent, maintaining the property, and handling any repairs or maintenance issues. You are also responsible for enforcing the terms of the lease agreement and handling all legal matters that may arise.

Who is a Property Manager?

A property manager is a professional hired to manage a rental property on behalf of the owner. Property managers take care of many of the tasks that landlords handle themselves. This includes finding and screening tenants, setting rental rates, collecting rent, managing repairs and maintenance, and enforcing the lease agreement. Property managers also handle any legal issues that may arise and keep the owner informed about the status of the property.

Pros and Cons of Being a Landlord

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


  • More control over the property: As a landlord, you have complete control over your property and can decide how it is managed and maintained.
  • Potentially higher profits: Since you are not paying a property manager, you can profit more from your rental property.
  • Direct interaction with tenants: As a landlord, you have direct contact with your tenants and can build relationships with them.


  • More responsibility: As a landlord, you manage your rental property, including finding and screening tenants, collecting rent, handling repairs and maintenance, and enforcing the lease agreement.
  • Time-consuming: Managing a rental property can be a full-time job, and balancing it with other responsibilities can be difficult.
  • Legal liability: As a landlord, you ensure that your property complies with all relevant laws and regulations. If you make a mistake, you could face legal consequences.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Property Manager

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


  • Less stress and responsibility: Hiring a property manager means you don’t have to worry about the day-to-day management of your rental property.
  • Professional expertise: Property managers have experience and knowledge in managing rental properties, which means they can handle issues more efficiently and effectively.
  • Legal compliance: Property managers are well-versed in local laws and regulations, which can help ensure your property is compliant.


  • Cost: Property managers charge fees for their services, affecting your profits.
  • Less control over the property: When you hire a property manager, you give up some control over your property and must rely on them to make decisions.
  • Communication with tenants: Since property managers are tenants’ primary point of contact, you may interact less with them.

Key Differences Between a Landlord and a Property Manager

Landlords and property managers have different roles and responsibilities regarding properties. Understanding these differences is essential for both landlords and tenants. Although they may seem similar, there are significant differences between the two roles. Look at the key differences between a landlord and a property manager.

  • Ownership of the Property

The most apparent difference between landlords and property managers is the ownership of the rental property. Landlords are the property owners responsible for all its maintenance and repairs. On the other hand, property managers are hired by landlords to manage the property on their behalf. The property manager does not own the rental property but instead acts as a representative for the landlord.

  • Tenant Interactions

Landlords are responsible for all tenant interactions, such as screening tenants, collecting rent, and handling tenant complaints. They are also responsible for drafting lease agreements, setting rental rates, and enforcing lease terms. On the other hand, property managers handle these tasks on behalf of the landlord. Property managers also deal with day-to-day tenant concerns and may mediate disputes between the landlord and tenant.

  • Property Maintenance and Repairs

Another significant difference between landlords and property managers is property maintenance and repairs. Landlords are responsible for all property maintenance and repairs, including routine maintenance and repairs due to tenant damage. Property managers can handle these tasks if agreed upon in the property management agreement, but the landlord remains ultimately responsible. Property managers can also coordinate repairs with contractors and vendors, ensuring work is completed efficiently and effectively.

  • Rent Collection and Financial Management

Lands and property managers also handle rent collection and financial management differently. Landlords collect rent directly from tenants, whereas property managers handle rent collection on behalf of the landlord. Property managers also handle financial management tasks, such as paying property expenses and providing financial statements. They may also create budgets and recommend ways to increase rental income.

  • Legal Responsibilities

Landlords have specific legal responsibilities when it comes to their rental properties. They must comply with housing codes, ensure the property is safe and habitable, and provide necessary amenities. They are also responsible for addressing any legal disputes that may arise, such as evictions or lawsuits. Property managers have legal responsibilities as well, but they are not the legal owner of the property. They must follow all legal requirements and ensure the landlord complies with all regulations.

Let’s look at the table below to understand the critical differences between a landlord and a property manager: 


Key Differences Landlord Property Manager
Ownership Owns the property Does not own the property
Responsibilities Collects rent, handles maintenance issues Manages the property on behalf of the owner
Tenant Interaction Deals directly with tenants Acts as an intermediary between owner and tenant
Legal Authority Can evict tenants, enforce lease agreements Cannot evict tenants without owner’s permission
Compensation Receives rent payments Paid a fee or percentage of rental income
Availability May not be available on-site Can be available on-site or off-site
Investment Goals Profit and appreciation of property value Profit and maintaining the property’s value


Understanding the difference between a landlord and a property manager is essential for real estate investors. While a landlord is typically the property owner who oversees the day-to-day management of their property, a property manager is a professional who manages the property on behalf of the owner. Property managers offer various services, including marketing, tenant screening, lease management, rent collection, maintenance, etc. 

By hiring a property management company or a property manager, real estate investors can save time and ensure their property is managed effectively, resulting in higher returns on investment. Whether you choose to be a landlord or hire a property manager, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision based on your goals, preferences, and budget.

Maximizing Your Investment: Why BFPM is the Right Choice for Property Management

Choosing the right property management company is crucial to maximizing your investment. A property management company can help you attract quality tenants, maintain your property, and keep it profitable. BFPM is the perfect choice due to its experienced team, personalized service, and advanced technology.  

At BFPM, we have a team of experts who specialize in property management and provide personalized service to clients. We work closely with our clients to create a customized management plan for their needs and budget.

With BFPM, you can ensure your property is well-maintained, profitable, and managed according to your preferences. So contact BFPM today to start maximizing your investment!

Trevor Henson

Trevor Henson is an experienced entrepreneur (10+ highly-successful start-ups) and property investor with a demonstrated history of building and leading teams in investment property management environments, maximizing returns for property owners, and optimizing properties through construction management and re-positioning. He…
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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Pros: Property managers can work with people from diverse backgrounds, including landlords, tenants, and vendors. The job allows property managers to develop valuable communication, problem-solving, and time-management skills. Property managers have the potential for a steady income stream from management fees and commissions. The job offers flexibility in terms of working hours and location. Cons: Property managers have high responsibility and liability for the property and its tenants. They must deal with difficult tenants, emergencies, and unexpected repairs and maintenance issues. The job can be high-stress and demanding at times.

One of the biggest challenges for property managers is dealing with difficult tenants. This includes tenants who do not pay rent on time, violate the lease agreement, or cause damage to the property. Additionally, property managers must handle emergencies and unexpected repairs and maintenance issues.

The overall goal of a property manager is to maximize the property's value while ensuring a positive rental experience for both the landlord and the tenants. This includes maintaining the property, attracting and retaining tenants, collecting rent, and handling issues during the tenancy. Ultimately, the property manager strives to ensure the property is profitable and well-maintained.