What is the difference between renting a home, apartment, or rental from a private owner or a corporation?
The experience living in the house can be very different between two landlords. This should be a choice you add in your decision. Speaking as a private landlord, who managed real estate, I can give you my perspective.
Management companies will tend to have more experience as landlords. You will find these companies have system and processes to view their rental listings, application submission, and maintenance requests. They have more agents to help you find housing, sales people to look at the listings, collect rent, managers to handle billings, and others to spread the work out. They have staff so it's only natural a professional management company provides a better process. Not to say that you will be happy them as landlords or how they manage the housing.
You might be happier with an individual owner who has more control and manages the property very differently. Questions about lease duration and credit requirements are just a couple common concerns for renters. Individual landlords might be more flexible to offer cheaper rent or different terms. They are the owner and have absolute authority. The professional property management firm is likely to follow the rules more closely.
Just be prepared, some private landlords lack experience. I remember when I first started to manage my property. I did not realize that state law required certain clauses in my lease agreement for renter rights. I got the lease from a friend who was using it for his rentals. I did not have the resources to create a lease for myself. Also they might be more "in love" with their property and have an emotional tie. They could have managed the rental it for many years or a previous house they lived in or owned by relatives. An emotional tie to their property makes renting from a private owner a bigger pain. I know if something happens to our mother, my brother and I will need to decide if we sell or rent our parents home. We used to play in the neighborhood as kids. I'll be much more watchful how the renter treats the house if we do rent it.
Management companies probably have an off shift crew to contact and support the rentals and tenants after hours. Individual landlords most likely do not be available at all hours to take a call. When I owned rental homes I had the appliances covered under insurance. I never wanted to get call at 2:00 am because the furnace was out in any of my rental homes. This was not free to me but worth the time I got back. Landlords will likely not have this type of after hours coverage. If this is true, you have to disturb them.
A management company may have more rental houses in their list. They may have available more listings for rent near the are you want to live. I only had one house to open for rent at any point. If potential tenants wanted something different than what I had, I could not offer them another house or apartment.
When you rent from a private landlord you can build a more personal relationship. You could find a personal relationship beneficial. As I mentioned earlier, non corporate landlords has freedom to change the lease period or price paid. Housing is expensive and a small change to rent, down payment or term could make it more affordable. I also think a private landlord knows the renter is their customer. I lived near my rental so I was able to visit as needed by the renters. I also was a little more lenient if the renter was late once in a while on their rent. I understood keeping them happy was important. If they were a good renter I wanted them to renew the lease. It was always a big job to get a place ready for a new tenant and to find a new renter.
When you search available homes for your next home to live, consider the landlord type can change your experience in the rental. Typically a rental agreement is a year minimum. Paying rent on housing you don't enjoy living in could frustrate you. As you sort through homes and find the perfect place to rent.
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