If you’re in the process of touring apartment communities, there is a good likelihood you’ve encountered units that are handled by property management companies and those dealt with by individual landlords. While the experience of working with each is inherently different, neither is a bad option. It is, however, important to understand what makes a landlord and a property manager different so that you can make an informed decision as to which circumstance is best for your individual needs.
Whether the units you are looking at are in apartment communities that are handled mostly by private landlords or by management companies, there are a few things that you can expect either way. Any person or group of persons who are in the position of renting space to tenants to use as their place of residence have to uphold certain standards as outlined in the local laws. Basic living conditions which are typically required to be provided to tenants are access to clean water (hot and cold), heat (and air conditioning in certain climates), and a generally habitable and safe dwelling. A landlord or property manager who fails to adhere to the guidelines put forth in a given area can be reported and face legal repercussions that could range anywhere from paying fines to losing their ability to continue to act as a landlord.
Both landlords and property managers will also share the common tasks of vetting and selecting tenants, collecting monthly rents, maintaining the property, resolving disputes between tenants and handling maintenance requests, among others.
Pros of a Landlord
Having private landlords within apartment communities can have quite a few benefits. For one thing, dealing with one person will allow you to build personal rapport with them. This can be extremely beneficial for many reasons. For example, if your landlord gets to know you as a responsible and reliable tenant, they will likely be much more attentive to handling your maintenance requests in a timely manner and taking any disputes or issues that arise seriously. Building rapport can also be valuable if an unexpected life event derails your financial situation and you need to discuss alternate payment arrangements or even get out of your lease early. In other words, getting to know your landlord on a personal level could help them to be more responsive to your plight. This relationship may also result in extra wiggle room when it comes to renegotiating new terms at your lease end. Lastly, a private landlord is much more likely to take the time to give you a heartfelt letter of recommendation that could help you to land future apartments.
Cons of a Landlord
There are, however, some cons to private landlords as well. Private landlords are oftentimes making their income solely off of their rental properties, which could have the alternate effect and make them a bit more inflexible. There’s also the unfortunate chance that you and your landlord might not hit it off as well as you had hoped. In that case, you may find yourself stuck in a living situation where you aren’t entirely comfortable with the way things are being handled with nowhere to take your complaints. Additionally, if you have a landlord who doesn’t take pride in his/her position, it may take quite a bit more effort on your part to get complaints handled and items fixed within your unit.
Pros of a Property Manager
If you’re looking into apartment communities that are handled by management companies, you’ll likely be dealing with more than one person. This can be good in the respect that, if you aren’t gelling well with one person on the team, there are others who you can approach who may better be able to handle your needs. Additionally, many management companies will offer tenants access to 24-hour on-site emergency service teams so that problems that arise can be handled much quicker than a traditional landlord may be able to take care of them. Dealing with a property management team may also eliminate much of the tension between neighbors as each unit is held to the same standards of behavior.
Cons of a Property Manager
Due to the larger size of many property management companies, some tenants may get the feeling that they are lost in the shuffle. You will likely not build the same one-on-one rapport that you might have with a private landlord. There is also far less likelihood with a property manager that you will have the same ability to negotiate your lease. Prices within management companies tend to be much firmer, as are lease terms and options.
Looking at Apartment Communities in Hattiesburg or the Surrounding Areas?
If you’re ready to find your next home, let the team at Hattiesburg Apartments help you find the apartment community that is right for you. Check out our database of currently available properties in the area and, if you like what you see, reach out to one of our team members to schedule some showings!