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Landlord vs. Property Manager: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

Landlords and property managers have different responsibilities when it comes to renting out and maintaining properties. If you’re considering a career in property management, understanding the duties of each position can help you decide which one is right for you. In this article, we compare the job titles landlord and property manager, and we discuss the key responsibilities of each role.

What is a Landlord?

A landlord is a person who owns property that is leased or rented to another person. The landlord is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the property and may also be responsible for collecting rent from the tenant. In some cases, the landlord may also be responsible for providing utilities, such as water, electricity or gas. The landlord may live on the property or may live elsewhere.

What is a Property Manager?

A Property Manager is responsible for the overall management of a property, including maintenance, repairs, renovations, tenant relations and lease compliance. They work with the owner of the property to ensure that it is well-maintained and profitable. Property Managers typically oversee a portfolio of properties, which can include apartments, office buildings, retail centers, warehouses and more. They develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure that the property is running smoothly and efficiently. Property Managers also work with tenants to resolve any issues that may arise and ensure that they are complying with their lease agreement.

Landlord vs. Property Manager

Here are the main differences between a landlord and a property manager.

Job Duties

A property manager oversees the day-to-day operations of a property. They’re involved in tasks like finding and interviewing tenants, creating rental agreements, performing background and credit checks, setting rent prices, collecting rent payments and maintaining the physical structure of the property.

A landlord owns a piece of real estate and is responsible for major repairs and maintenance. They hire contractors to complete these jobs and are usually present during construction. Landlords also have the right to decide whether or not a tenant can remain on the property.

Job Requirements

Landlords and property managers typically need a high school diploma or equivalent to enter the field. However, some employers may prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, real estate or a related field. Additionally, many landlords and property managers pursue professional certification through organizations like the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) or the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM). These certifications can demonstrate that professionals have the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in the field.

Work Environment

Property managers work in a variety of environments, depending on the property they manage. They may spend time at commercial properties like shopping malls or office buildings, but most often they work in residential settings such as single-family homes and apartment complexes. Property managers typically travel to each location where they manage properties, so they may be away from their offices for long periods of time.

Landlords also work in many different environments, depending on the type of property they own. For example, landlords who own large apartment complexes may spend much of their time there, while those who own small single-family homes may only visit them occasionally. Landlords can work in both residential and commercial settings, depending on the types of properties they own.


Both landlords and property managers need to have customer service skills. Landlords typically interact directly with their tenants, so they need to be able to communicate effectively, answer questions and resolve issues in a timely manner. Property managers may also interact directly with tenants, but they also work with other vendors, like maintenance workers and contractors. As such, they need to be able to manage multiple relationships effectively.

Both landlords and property managers need to understand the basics of real estate law. This knowledge helps them navigate leases, rental agreements and other legal documents. It also enables them to understand their rights and responsibilities as well as their tenants’ rights and responsibilities.

Landlords typically need to have financial skills to manage their rental properties. They need to be able to track income and expenses, prepare budgets and make sound investment decisions. Property managers also need financial skills to do their job effectively. In addition to understanding their own budget, they need to be able to negotiate with vendors on behalf of their clients, track rent payments and security deposits, and prepare reports for their clients.


The average salary for a landlord is $59,348 per year, while the average salary for a property manager is $64,618 per year. The salary for both positions may vary depending on the location of the property, the size of the property and the level of experience the landlord or property manager has.


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