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Renting from a Private Landlord VS. Property Management Company

If you’ve ever rented an apartment or house before, there’s a good chance you did it through a private landlord or property management company. On the surface, they might not seem that different. They’re just two types of people who collect rent money from you at the beginning of the  month.

While it’s true that a private landlord and property manager both collect your rent money, their rental processes can vary greatly. As a tenant, you’ll have to choose between a rental that comes directly from a private landlord or a third-party property management company. This critical decision can change the entire rental process.

But which one is better? As a tenant, you want to make the right choice. The good news is that there are pros and cons to both. Whether you choose to find a rental through a private landlord or property manager, certain things will work in your favor and others won’t. To make it easy, we’re here to break down some of the crucial differences between renting from a property manager vs. private landlord.


Renting from a Private Landlord


Renting from a private landlord basically translates into renting from an owner. The rental you inhabit is managed directly by the person who owns the property. As you’d imagine, there are positive and negative things about this type of arrangement — so let’s get into it.

One of the best things about renting from a private landlord is the ability to cultivate a strong landlord-tenant relationship. If you and your landlord get along well, they’ll probably be more willing to help you out when things go awry. There’s more leeway to talk through issues explaining a scratch or dent. Having that solid rapport in place can help you in sticky rental situations.

However, renting from a private landlord can also be risky. You don’t know much about the landlord’s past or their business practices. If at some point they decide the relationship is damaged, they may try to blame property damage on you as well. Despite their best efforts, a private landlord may not be educated on the Residential Tenancy Act, further putting you in a precarious position. Their personal biases will always come into play no matter what your rental situation looks like.


Renting from a Property Manager


A property manager (usually working on behalf of a property management company) serves as a middleman between you and the landlord. They work with several different landlords who own rental properties. All of the paperwork and potential issues associated with the rental you’re inhabiting is facilitated by the property manager and their rental experience.


The great thing about renting from a property manager is reliability. This is their job. Even though they probably have other rentals to take care of — they are there for you. If your landlord is out of the country, they may not be in a position to efficiently help you, especially in an emergency situation.  A property manager will always ensure there is help when you need it, whether it’s through them or their company.

Unlike a private landlord, a property manager will also have less bias towards tenants. Since they approach properties as work, not passion projects, they won’t be as emotionally connected to the space. This is a positive for tenants as they likely won’t have a microscope held up to every little issue that may come up. While the property managers will still  ensure the property is in the shape the owner wants, their judgement won’t be clouded by emotions. They’ll want to figure out a solution as it relates to the Residential Tenancy Act.


The last thing that is beneficial about renting from a property manager is experience. Property managers have dealt with a plethora of issues in their careers and most certainly a scenario like yours. If your rental experience is a private landlord’s first time ever dealing with a tenant, managing their emotions is going to be difficult. Even if they try to understand an issue, they won’t approach it the same way as a seasoned property manager would.


Pemberton Holmes was rated the #1 Property Management company in the Greater Victoria Area. If you have any questions regarding the process of renting out your property, give us a call. One of our licensed managers would be happy to assist. 250-478-9141.


Are you looking for a new place to call home? Contact our Relocation Department at – These are stressful times and looking for a new rental home is already challenging; it doesn’t need to be more hectic. We’ve created a new service to help you find the right home or apartment that meets your personal and financial needs. Let us take some of the stress off you. Get in touch today and let us advocate on your behalf.

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